Skip to main content

Full text of "Tales from the German /"

See other formats






I' ( 





■^•i^.'V .••^ 

^ "' ' IC4^ 











Samuel N. Dickinson, Printer, 

52, Washing-ton street. 


Most men, whatever the nature of their avoca- 
tions, have, or may have, occasional hours of leisure 
and relaxation. To spend those hours profitably as 
well as pleasantly, should be a study : to spend them 
harmlessly, is a duty. Among other recent employ- 
ments of the little leisure afforded me by absorbing 
official occupations, has been an attempt to gain 
some knowledge of the language and literature of 
Germany ; and among the results of that attempt, 
are manuscript translations of several pleasant and 
interesting tales from various German authors, some 
of which I have been led to suppose might prove 
acceptable to our reading public. Thoise now 
presented are taken almost at random from the thir- 
teen volumes of Van der Velde's works, of which 
they are a fair specimen. Their principal value 
consists in their faithful illustration of interesting 


portions of history not generally familiar. They 
liave, besides, the merit of a peculiarly simple and 
unpretending style, that gives them an additional 
charm, and which I have endeavored to preserve in 
the translation. Whether that endeavor has been 
successful, however, and whether the English dress 
I have substituted for the graceful German garb, is 
worthy of the author and suited to the public taste, 
are questions upon which I feel somewhat doubtful 
and apprehensive. Should the reader answer them 
in the affirmative, I shall have the consolation of 
feeling that the leisure devoted to the work has been 
harmlessly, if not profitably, employed. 

It is proper to add, that in a few cases I have 
taken the liberty to omit some passages, and to alter 
others, that were deemed incompatible with the 
ideas of propriety and decorum prevalent in this 

Boston, November, 1837. 





In October of the year 17 IS, the royal counsellor, 
Nils count Gyllenstierna, was sitting before his desk 
in his cabinet at Stockholm. Behind him stood 
Arwed, his son, a tall Swedish youth with blue eyes 
and golden hair, whose rosy countenance wore a 
decided expression of courage and resolution. The 
father suddenly turned his moveable chair so as to face 
the youth. 

* One word is as good as a thousand ! ' cried he, 
angrily ; ' dismiss for the present your heroic aspira- 
tions. You are too young for this war.' 

' Not younger than our king was,' quickly answered 
Arwed, ' when he beat the Danes by Humblebeck and 
the Muscovites by the Narva ! ' 

' It is a great misfortune for a land when its king is 
a Don Quixote,' grumbled the senator ; ' every fool in 
the kingdom quotes his example as authority.' 

* 0, do not calumniate the hero,' entreated Arwed, 
feelingly. ' Sweden has had no greater king since 
Gustavus Adolphus.' 

* Nor has she had one who has brought more misery 


upon the land replied the senator. ' Do not suppose, 
my son,' proceeded he, calmly, * that I underrate the 
qualifications of our lord the king. He has given 
proof of many, any one of which would render some 
other princes immortal. He is firm, liberal, brave, 
just, and knows how to maintain the royal dignity. 
But all these heroic virtues have, by excess, become 
more dangerous in him than would be their opposite 
vices. His firmness, becoming obstinacy, caused his 
misfortune at Pultowa and rendered him for five 
painful years the dependant and prisoner of the 
Turks; his liberality, degenerated into wastefulness, 
has ruined Sweden ; his courage, carried in most 
cases to the utmost extent of foolhardiness, has led 
hundreds of thousands of his subjects to butchery or 
the Siberian mines ; his justice has often become 
cruelty, and the maintenance of his royal prerogative, 

' Cruelty and tyranny ! ' repeated Arwed. ' Surely 
you judge the greatest man in Europe too severely.' 

'Do you remember the Livonian, Patkul ?' asked 
the father — 'Patkul, who was compelled, contrary to 
private right and international law, to make such 
dreadful atonement for what he had done in behalf of 
his native land ? His horrible death is a dark stain 
upon Charles's character, and no laurel wreath will 
ever so conceal the deed that posterity will not discover 
it on the tablets of history.' 

' So also are there spots upon the sun,' said Arwed 
with some degree of irritation. * The spirit of the 


party to which you have attached yourself, my father, 
permits you to see only the dark side of his character.' 

'My party spirit will never sway my judgment,' 
indignantly replied the senator. ' The true patriot is 
governed only by a desire to promote his country's 
welfare, in choosing and adhering to his party. Were 
the government of our king less arbitrary I would 
joyfully unite myself with his party; but with mon- 
archs like him, the public good requires an opposition, 
and every honest-minded nobleman should take his 
stand upon that side.' 

' It does not become me to dispute with you upon 
such topics,' said Arwed, soothingly. ' As yet I have 
no voice in public affairs. My arm only is needed. 
To that, however, in my opinion, my country has ^ 
righteous claim ; and the question now is, not whether 
the king has always chosen the best course for the 
Avelfare of his realm, but w4tether the decision which 
he has now irrevocably made shall be maintained with 
blood and treasure. Therefore permit me to go this 
time, my dear father.' 

' Well argued, my son,' said the elder Gyllenstierna 
gruffly, turning his attention again to his papers ; ' but 
the father has a w^ill of his own, and considers himself 
as much a sovereign in his own house, as Charles XII 
is in his kingdom. The king's sinful passion for "war 
has already made a sufficient number of childless pa- 
rents. I will not make to it the offering of my only son.' 

' What is my insignificant life in comparison y/ith 
Sweden's welfare ? ' cried Arwed with enthusiasm. 


* Sweden's welfare ! ' said the father, turning towards 
him again. ' How can Sweden's welfare be promoted 
by this unholy war ? Instead of attempting to regain 
our blessed German territories, which our enemies 
have divided among themselves, we go forth to the . 
conquest of Norway, which can never repay the blood 
and treasure she must cost, and will never be truly 
loyal unless w^ien garrisoned by our troops.' 

' To me it appears to be a noble attempt,' said 
Arwed, ' to conquer a part of his own states from an 
enemy who has taken so much from us.' 

' It appears so to you,' answered his father, ' because 
3^ou are a young simpleton, who are dazzled by the 
brilliancy of the enterprise. Would to God there were 
not even older fools Avho hold the same opinions. 
However wise or foolish this expedition may be, you 
can take no part in it. You have your answer, with 
which you will please retire and leave me alone. I 
have pressing business.' 

He turned again to his table and immediately re- 
sumed his writing. Arwed remained standing there 
with a sad countenance, his large blue veins swelling 
almost to bursting. His lips were already parting to 
reply, but he recollected himself and left the cabinet 
with passionate haste. 

Startled by the loud slamming of the door, the 
senator peevishly turned his eyes in that direction ; — 
near it he saw a little billet lying upon the floor, which 
he took up and brought to his writing table. 

* A three-cornered billet,' murmured he, examining 


it. ' Fine gilt-edged paper, redolent of perfume, — it 
must be a love-letter ! ' He cut the delicate knot 
which served for a seal, and, as he read, his brows 
became knitted with anger. Then seizing a silver 
bell which lay upon the table before him, he rung it 
violently. * My secretary ! ' cried he to the servant 
who answered the bell. 

' Very tender,' said he, after having re-perused the 
note. 'An amorous intrigue at court, and yet the 
youth desirous of engaging in the Norwegian war ! 
It is strange — but it pleases me.' 

Brodin, the count's secretary, an old, true, expe- 
rienced, hereditary servant, now stepped softly into 
the cabinet, gently closing the door after him. 

'A billet-doux, that my son has just dropped here,' 
cried the senator, advancing and handing the letter to 
him. ' It is signed with the name only of Georgina. 
Who is this Georgina ? ' 

' I am not indeed so happy,' answered the secretary, 
with a satyr-like smile, ' as to know the christian 
names of all the females with whom count Arwed 
might possibly form tender connections. Nevertheless, 
I have provided myself, partly from curiosity and partly 
that I might be enabled to answer inquiries, with a 
genealogical list of those ladies now resident at 
Stockholm, from which some pertinent information may 
perhaps be gained. Fortunately I have the list now 
with me, if your excellency will condescend to make 
present use of it, — however, I cannot guarantee that 
you will find there the Georgina in question, as the 
taste of my lord, your son, like that of other young 


cavaliers, may possibly have led him into a lower 
circle, of which hitherto I have been unable to find 
any tolerably correct catalogue.' 

' Produce it ! ' cried the senator, with ill-humor ; — 
and the secretary drew forth his geneological list. 

' H-m, h-m,' hummed he, perusing it. 'I cannot 
find any Georgina, and yet the name must be very 
common at Stockholm. ' Eureka ! ' he suddenly ex- 
claimed ; ' here stands a Georgina ! but whether it be 
the right one must be determined by further evidence.' 

' Come, be expeditious ! ' impatiently cried old 

* Georgina Henrike Dorothea Baroness von Goertz,' 
read Brodin, ' daughter of George Heinrich Freiherrn 
von Goertz, privy counsellor and lord marshal of the 
duke of Holstein Gottorp Durchlaucht, and temporary 
prime minister and director of the finance commission 
of his royal Swedish majesty.' 

' He is out of his senses ! ' loudly exclaimed Gyl- 
lenstierna, interrupting his secretary in his tedious 
narration. ' The maiden is yet but a mere child ! ' 

' According to my notes, past fourteen,' replied the 
secretary ; ' but she looks as if she were eighteen. 
She has been confirmed this year at the time of 
Easter ; and has thereby acquired, as it were, a privi- 
lege in regard to such love affairs ; besides, she is the 
only Georgina among the ladies of this capital.' 

' Indeed ! ' cried the senator, ^ the youth flies high — 
that cannot be denied, and is most gratifying to me. 
But a Goertz ! Never ! ' 


Startled by the vehemence of this never, the secretaiy 
shrunk back for a moment — but, again approaching 
his master, ' might I presume,' said he, submissively, 
in favor of the count Arwed, ' to state that a connection 
with the family af the premier cannot diminish the 
lustre of the house of Gy liens tierna, but on the con- 
trary must conduce greatly to its advantage.' 

' Heigh, heigh, Brodin I ' exclaimed old Gyllenstierna. 
' Have you grown gray at court and yet understand no 
better how to make skilful combinations ? Could I 
forgive this foreigner that he has foisted hims^f upon 
Sweden, that he rules her as tyrannically as her sov-e- 
reign himself, and that he would willingly grind her 
in the dust with his chimerical experiments — yet would 
sound policy forbid every connection with his family. 
His authority is ephemeral. He stands with the king 
and must fall with him. The living Charles might 
venture to send his boot to Stockholm to preside in 
the council instead of himself. The minister of th-e 
deceased Charles will have a difficult task — and will 
be compelled to exert himself to save honor and life 
in the catastrophe which will doubtless occur.' 

' Our royal master is yet but thirty-six years of 
age,' observed Brodin : ^ and is a giant in mental and 
physical strength.' 

* But he daily sets his lifie upon a cast in the dan- 
gerous game of war,' answered Gyllenstierna. ' Instead 
of avoiding personal danger, as a royal commander 
should, he seeks it more recklessly than the lowliest 
soldier of his army. No, that guaranty is very unsafe. 


[t would be folly to confide in the fortunate star of 
Goertz, and senselessly bind myself to him by the ties 
of blood. Arwed must give up his foolish love.' 

* That,' said Brodin, rubbing his hands, * will be 
likely to be rendered difficult by the headstrong 
disposition of the young lord.' 

' I am aware of it,' said Gyllenstierna, ' Yet when 
I have the will and the power, I never suffer an 
interruption of my course. Arwed has just now been 
soliciting leave to join the Norwegian expedition. He 
shall set off for Norway this very night, and thus will 
his attention be directed to other affairs.' 

' But the precious life of the only heir of your noble 
house V exclaimed Brodin sorrowfully. 

' A Gyllenstierna must inure himself to the hard- 
ships of war,' answered the senator resolutely. 'All 
bullets do not hit, and even the worst that could happen 
would not be to me so severe an affliction as this mad 
connection. See that Arwed's equipments are prepar- 
ed, and let my carriage be driven to the door. I will 
to the vice-regent. Call my son hither, and prepare 
for him a letter of introduction to lieutenant general 
Armfelt. I will sign it on my return.' 

Ominously shaking his head, Brodin left the room, — 
and the senator again carefully read through the love 
letter. ' His sudden passion for war is now clear to 
me,' cried he at last. ' It is that he may soon become of 
sufficient consequence to enable him to woo successful- 
ly the daughter of the all-powerful favoritej who stands 
too high for the undistinguished son of a simple count 


and senator of SAveden. I am sorry for thee, poor 
youth, but thy plan must be abandoned.' 

' You have commanded my presence my father,' 
said Arwed, who with a discontented face now entered 
the cabinet. 

' I have reflected further upon your request,' answer- 
ed the senator. ' I will for this time let the child have 
his way, to stop his weeping. As soon as your letters 
of introduction are ready you will set off for the army. 
.From conquered Drontheim shall I expect your first 

* Am I going to Armfelt's corps V asked Arwed 

' What a question ! ' observed the father. ' The 
lieutenant general is my old friend. He will receive 
you with open arms, and give you an advantageous 

* I much regret,' said Arwed, * that with my thanks 
for granting my first request, I must prefer a new one. 
I cannot, indeed, take the letter of recommendation, 
dear father, and I would not be indebted to old friend- 
ship for a commission. What I can win upon the 
field of honor, that may I thank myself for.' 

' Overstrained ideas,' murmured the father peevish- 
ly. You will regret the want of patronage when 
experience shall have taught you how far merit can 
go without it.' 

* In war the good will of one's comrades is ne« 
cessary,' proceeded Arwed. ' The soldier who is 
pushed forward through favoritism, must renounce it ; 


and under Armfelt I foresee that I could not avoid 
being improperly favored. Wherefore I beg of you to 
let me go without recommendation to our king before 

' Even to the most hopeless expedition of the whole 
campaign!' cried the father. 'Before that unlucky 
city which during the last 3-ear has cost Sweden her 
military renown, an entire third of her army, and very 
nearly the life of her king, — where peasants and 
serving maids suddenly became more furious than the 
hostile elements and put to flight the conqueror of 
Moscow. How hast thou become possessed of this 
foolish fancy V 

' I desire that Sweden's hero should witness my 
first essay in arms,' answered Arwed. 

' Overweening self confidence!' said the father.' ' I 
trust that thou wilt every where maintain the honor of 
our name, and the coolness of age sees farther than the 
heat of youth. The king has not yet learned to be 
sparing of his soldiers, as there is none but God to 
call him to account for his conduct. The general has 
more restricted duties. And although I appreciate 
eagerness for action and am disposed to satisfy it, yet 
I cannot consent to place your life at ihe disposal of 
Charles's mad humour. You go to Armfelt.' 

' Dear father !' implored Arwed, and at that mo- 
ment the valet-de-chambre entered with the count's 
hat and sword and announced that rhe carriage was 

' It is settled,' said the senator in the most de^ 


cided manner to his son, whilst he buckled on his 
sword. ' I will hear nothing further in opposition to 
my determination.' 

He snatched his hat violently from the servant, and 
hastily sallied forth. 

' This is hard !' said the afflicted Arwed. ^ Must I 
obey ? ' he asked himself after a moment's pause, — 
* Why torment myself ! ' cried he finally. ' Gushes 
not for me, in one kind heart, the silver fountain of 
goodness and wisdom ? She shall tell me what is right 
in the struggle between filial duty and my own better 
conviction. She shall decide.' 


Alone, with folded arms, on the following evening, 
Arwed wandered up and down the northern bank of 
the Suedermalm in the new volunteer uniform, anx- 
iously glancing across lake Malar towards the mag- 
nificent city of Stockholm, which there arose with 
its palaces, cupolas and towers, proud and lordly as 
became the queen of those waters. The sun had 
already gone down, but it yet glowed redly upon the 
waves of the lake, gently ruffled by a soft west wind, 
and its last rays glistened upon the knob of the high 
towers of St. Gertrude, which it lighted up like a giant 
star shining through the incipient twilight. With 
earnest attention the youth's eyes glided from tower 
to tower and from palace to palace, until they finally 
remained fixed upon that of the royal residence, which 
in consequence of the continued impoverishment of 
the treasury had not been rebuilt since the fire that- 
destroyed it twenty years before. 

' What horrible desolation in the midst of so much 
splendor !' said Arwed mournfully to himself. ' The 
ruins of the royal castle almost appear to me to be 


symbols of the decay of this noble realm ! Yet also 
this palace,' proceeded he, consoling himself with the 
light-mindedness of youth, ' will one day again rise 
from its ashes, perhaps more beautiful than before. 
Lost lands can be conquered again, new generations 
will come to fill up the vacancies caused by the sword, 
and soon perhaps will Europe tremble again before 
the mighty roar of the Swedish lion.' 

A splash in the water interrupted the proud proph- 
ecy. A row-boat from the Kitterholm cut through 
the stream and neared the bank. Two ladies in plain 
dark cloaks and covered with w^hite veils, stepped 
from the boat. ' Georgina,' cried Arwed in ecstasy, 
springing towards her. With light, nimble steps one 
of the ladies, a slender and delicately formed figure, 
approached and affectionately extended to him her 
right hand, while her left was employed in withdraw- 
ing the veil from her youthful and lovely face. 

' My Georgina !' he joyfully repeated, leading her 
to a seat upon the rocky bank, whilst the other lady 
remained standing at some distance, sending from 
under her veil in every direction her scrutinizing 
glances, so as to be enabled to warn the youthful pair 
betimes of any troublesome witness who might inter- 
rupt the happy interview. 

The beauteous Georgina fixed her affectionate gaze 
upon the beloved youth, but with softened feelings 
which filled her dark eyes with tears. ' By your 
dress I see,' said she with emotion, ' that this is our 
parting hour — and I thank thee that I have been 


hitherto kept in ignorance of it, so that I was enabled 
to enjoy the anticipation of this meeting without 

' Yes, dearest maiden,' answered Arwed : ' my 
wishes are accomplished, my father's kindness has 
opened to me the path of honor, which I dare to hope 
will enable me to deserve and obtain thee. That I 
may hereafter be entirely thine, I now leave thee. 
Thou wilt again see me, crowned with the laurels of 
victory, or thou wilt hear that I have bravely fought 
and fallen worthy of thee and myself.' 

' Oh, Arwed,' faintly murmured the almost breath- 
less maiden, reclining her beauteous head upon his 
breast and turning her eyes upon his face with a look 
of gentle reproach. ^ Must it then be so ? Thou 
hast indeed always asserted this sad necessity, but I 
could never bring myself to believe it. Credit me, 
my father is good, and by no means so haughty and 
violent as the Swedes consider him. Ungrateful men 
indeed, hate him — but he loves his newly adopted 
country. Thy house is one of the most honorable — 
and even if he had other plans respecting me, he would 
not be able to withstand my prayers if I dutifully 
opened my heart to him.' 

' I love thee with all my soul, Georgina,' said 
Arwed with flashing eyes : * but at the same time 
Swedish pride claims its rights. It would be disgrace- 
ful to a Gyllenstierna to be indebted to the prayers 
and tears of the daughter for the consent of the proud 
stranger. And if your father should now ask me what 


I had hitherto done for the honor of the name which 
his child is to bear, and I could answer him nothing 
except that I had read Greek and Latin with my tutor 
and listened to a few college lectures at Upsala, I 
should sink into the earth for shame. Yet not for 
that cause alone do I grasp the sword. With it I 
hope to gain the favor of the king and independence 
of my father, who, though he truly loves me, will 
hardly with a good will consent to the proposed con- 
nection. Besides, having long since decided on my 
course, I beg that you will not make more difficult by 
your sorrow a step which is already sufficiently afflict- 
ing, since it separates me from you.' 

' Cruel, perverse man!' said Georgina, kissing him. 
* Yes, your sex are our tyrants, and the worst of it is, 
that the more pitilessly you torment us through your 
pride and severity, the more ardently we love you. 
. What can the poor feeble maiden do but submit to the 
hard fate which her Arwed decrees — and henceforth 
weep, hope, wish, until her lot is indissolubly united 
with his.' She dried her tears, and then with assumed 
resolution asked : ' when do you leave ?' 

* This night I depart for Norw^ay,' answered Arwed, 
' but whether for the north or the south, you must 
decide for me.' 

* I ?^ asked Georgina, trembling : 'you mock me.' 

' You know the reasons,' proceeded Arwed, ' which 
induce me to desire to repair to Frederickshall. But 
my father insists with inexorable severity, that I shall 
go to Armfelt, which he prefers as the better path for 


promotion, and from fear that the reckless temerity of 
the king may expose my life to unnecessary danger, 
I believe, however, that the aversion which the fiery 
old aristocrat retains so firmly against the great 
Charles, is the principal cause of his obstinacy. Now 
counsel me Georgina. Uninfluenced by party hatreds, 
and all the low springs of action which prevail in 
this kingdom setting brother against brother, standest 
thou there, like a good angel, above the thunder and 
the death-cry of the battle field, and only lookest down 
compassionately upon the wild tumult. — With thee I 
shall find the truth, or nowhere. Shall I follow the 
conquering path of the great king, inspired by his 
presence, and perhaps rewarded with his approbation 
whenever an opportunity for good service may occur, 
and struggle to obtain the chaplet of honor through 
my own deservings ; or shall I, in obedience to the 
arbitrary will of my father, repair to Armfelt's corps 
for the purpose of supplanting meritorious warriors by 
means of a wicked favoritism ? Decide ! What you 
advise, that will I do.' 

' Thou art magnanimous, Arwed,' said Georgina, 
smiling through her tears. * Thou wishest to flatter a 
maiden's vanity, so that she may the less acutely feel 
the sorrow of parting. How shall I be so presump- 
tuous as to counsel a youth who is as headstrong as 
ever could have been the king himself?' 

* Upon my honor !' cried Arwed impatiently, * I 
desire thy counsel in real earnest. My own feelings 
have long since decided, — but I wish to be governed 


not by my own feelings, but by what is right, and that 
I find only in thy clear soul.' 

* Thou demandest of me the performance of a deli- 
cate and responsible duty,' said Georgina with emotion. 
' Were I to obey only the voice of anxiety which 
speaks so loudly for thee in a loving maiden's bosom, 
I had quickly decided — as, with the king is undoubt- 
edly the greatest danger. But in this case the voice 
of honor must also be heard, and thy honor is also 

* Such language is worthy of a Swedish maiden !' 
cried Arwed, warmly embracing her. 

* Nor is honor alone to be considered,' proceeded 
Georgina. * The question of filial duty is also an im- 
portant one* Thy father hath declared his will, and 
I am not presumptuous enough to counsel disobedi- 
eiice to him.' 

' My God ! ' cried Arwed disconsolately. ' I now 
stand just where I did before — and if I would ever 
come to a conclusion, like Alexander I must cut the 
knot I cannot untie.' 

' Move not towards the north, young hero ! ' whis- 
pered, all of a sudden in the evening stillness, a low 
hoarse voice, as if from heaven. 

Georgina shrieked with alarm and covered her eyes 
with her hands. Arwed sprang in a rage from his 
rocky seat, and drew his sword. ' Who here gives 
his counsel unasked ? ' thundered he among the rocks 
above him, on whose top he observed through the 
fading twilight a tall human form, wrapped in a gray 


' One wiser than thou,' answered the apparition, 
' and who means thee well.' 

' What have I to fear in the north ? ' hastily asked 

^ An inglorious death ! ' answered the unknown, 
and instantly vanished. 

' Strange,' said Arwed, slowly returning his sword 
to its scabbard. 

' Now am I to decide ! ' cried Georgina, trembling- 
ly attaching herself to him. ' Obey the voice, Arwed, 
it appeared to be that of a friend.' 

' Prophecies were always disagreeable to me,' said 
Arwed. ' Imposition or fanaticism, it makes no dif- 
ference. Now am I almost determined to go to Arm- 
felt, merely to prove that I give no heed to such jug- 

'Hast thou forgotten what there awaits thee?' 
anxiously asked Georgina. 

' An inglorious death would indeed be the greatest 
calamity that could befal me,' said Arwed ; ' and 
the voice sounded so honest.' 

' If thou lovest me, obey it,' implored Georgina, — 
and at that moment her companion approached to 
remind her that it was high time to return to the city. 

' Fare thee well, my beloved life ! ' said Arwed, 
locking the sobbing maiden in his arms. 

* Thou goest to Frederickshall ? ' inquired she, 

' Hast thou not united the wish with my love ? ' 
asked the youth in return, and long and silently he 
pressed her beloved form to his bosom. 


' Hasten, baroness ! ' anxiously entreated her com 

Georgina finally forced herself from his embrace. 
* I believe in a good God ! ' exclaimed she with a sort 
of inspiration : ' we shall meet again.' 

The ladies proceeded to the boat which was wait- 
ing for them. Arwed remained standing silently on 
the spot where he had received Georgina's last kiss, 
gazing after the receding boat, until it disappeared in 
the shadow which the old Gothic church of the Kit- 
terholm, behind which the moon was now rising, 
threw over the waters of the Malar, 


The Swedish trumpets were sounding and the 
drums beating an alarm, as Arwed and his groom 
rode into the camp before FrederickshalL In every 
direction the footsoldiers were parading before their 
barracks under arms, and the cavalry ^vere standing 
by their horses, ready to mount. With great trouble 
Arwed pressed his steed through the warlike throng. 
and finally arrived at the quarters of the king, — 
where he paused, looking in every direction for some 
one to announce him. 

At length, an aged officer, in a general's uniform, 
came along the passage-way between the tents, bend- 
ing his steps towards the royal barrack. The sentinel 
at the door presented arms to him. Acknowledging 
the courtesy in a kindly manner, his glance fell upon 
Arwed. ' Do you seek any one here, my son V asked 
he in a friendly tone. 

' An audience of the king,' answered Arwed : ' of 
whom I have a personal request to make.' 

' The king is now pressingly engaged,' said the 
general. . ' The princes of Hesse and Holstein-Gottorp 
are with him. If you are willing to entrust your 
business with me I will faithfully communicate it to 


' I thankfully acknowledge your goodness, general,' 
answered Arwed. ' I am convinced that my request 
to be enrolled in the army might safely be confided to 
your hands ; but I am very desirous to see the face of 
my king, a happiness which I have never yet enjoyed. 
I was not yet born when he left Stockholm.' 

' Whither he has never since returned, I know,' 
said the general with a heavy sigh. ' You look so 
fresh and true hearted that I will do what you desire. 
Come with me.' 

Arwed followed the general. The door of the 
royal chamber at that moment opened. A man was 
standing by a table, upon which were lying a bible, a 
map of Norway and a plan of Frederickshall. His 
blue, unornamented riding coat, with large brass but- 
tons, his narrow black neck-stock, his thin locks, 
which bristled in every direction, the broad yellow 
leather shoulder-band, from which his long sword de- 
pended, and his large cavalry boots, would have led 
to the conclusion that he was a subaltern officer, — 
but his tall, noble figure, his beautiful forehead, his 
large soft blue eyes, and his well formed nose, gave 
10 his whole appearance something so majestic, and 
so highly distinguished him from two embroidered, 
starred and ribboned lords who were with him in the 
room, that Arwed instantly recognized his hitherto 
unknown king. 

' The trenches opened on the fourth,' said the king, 
fretfully tracing upon the plan with his finger. ' They 
ought to be further advanced ! ' 


' Certainly, your majesty !' answered Arvved's pro- 
tector in a sad tone. ' One feels tempted to believe 
that he who conducts these works either cannot or 
will not advance them, and it must he conceded that 
colonel Megret understands his business.' 

' I know what you would say, Duecker,' said 
Charles with a severe countenance. ' But I will give 
you a useful lesson. You must not speak ill of any 
one when you are speaking with your king.' 

Making an effort to suppress his feelings, and 
followed by the scornful smile of the eldest prince, 
Duecker retired, — whilst the other, a youth of about 
Arwed's age, amused himself with examining the new 
comer with a far from becoming hauteur. 

The king, following the glance of his nephew, per- 
ceived Arwed and advanced towards him. 

' Who ? ' asked he with some embarrassment. 

' Gyllenstierna,' answered Arwed w^ith a profound 
inclination : ' a Sw^edish nobleman, who begs of your 
majesty that he may be permitted to fight under your 

'Count Gyllenstierna?' inquired Charles, leaning 
on his giant sword. ' The father is a determined 
opponent of my administration ! ' said he to his 
brother-in-law, as Arwed bowed affirmatively, and a 
convulsive smile distorted the lips of his well-formed 

' Yet full of devotion for his king and his native 
land !' earnestly interposed Arwed. ' If your majes- 
ty will but permit his son to prove it.' 


The king gave him a complacent look. ' I am now 
about to take the battery called the Golden Lion froni 
the Danes,' said he : * you can remain by my side.' 

* Heaven reward your majesty!' cried Arwed in 
ecstasies, and seized the hand of the hero to kiss it, 

' I like not that,' said the king, hastily withdrawing 
his hand, — and at that moment adjutant general 
Siquier, a slender Frenchman, with a cunning but 
wasted face, entered the room. 

' Every thing is in readiness for the attack, your 
majesty !' announced he. 

' God with us, comrades ! ' exclaimed the king, 
putting on his immense gauntlets of yellow leather. 

' This attack will cost many men ! ' said Duecker, 
in an under tone to the young duke. 

' Oh ! ' whispered Siquier, who overheard the re- 
mark, ' a great French general under whom I once 
served was accustomed to say before the slaughter : 
' If God will but remain neutral to-day, then shall 
these Messieurs be finely flogged.' ' 

The king, who was already at the door, once more 
returned. ' Your great general,' said he to Siquier, — 
indignant at the quotation of the irreverent speech, 
— ' spoke then like a great fool.' 

With a countenance which badly concealed his 
rage at this unexpected reproof, Siquier cast down his 
eyes, and the warriors silently followed their heroic 



The entrenchments of the Golden Lion were 
thronged with red-coats. With the battle cry, ' God 
with us I ' the Swedish battalions charged upon them. 
Then opened the battery upon its assailants, hurling 
death among their ranks from twenty thundering throats 
of fire. Unmoved, at first, the warriors saw their 
comrades falling on either hand, and pressed bravely 
onward. Now, how^ever, the grape and canister shot 
of the enemy began its work of destruction, and in 
constantly increasing rapidity of succession sank the 
victims in their blood, until finally the weakened sur- 
vivors gave ground and slowly retreated. 

The king, surrounded by his retinue, sat upon his 
charger, within the range of the enemy's artillery, as 
quietly as if at a review. Arwed, at his side, observ- 
ed this new spectacle with a spirit-stirring pleasure. 
Presently one of the w^eakened and retreating battal- 
ions came near the king. With indignation in his 
eye he sprang to meet them. ' You are Swedes,' 
thundered he, * and do you fly ? Back to the enemy ! ' 

' We have lost all our officers, your majesty !' cried 
an old corporal. 


Trembling with eager desire to enter the lists, Ar- 
wed instantly threw himself out of his saddle, and 
asked, his foot still in the stirrup : ' may I lead these 
troops once more against the battery ? ' 

' You may make the attempt ! ' replied the king 
kindly to him, and immediately galloped to the other 
side of the battery, where also the Swedes had begun 
to give ground. In a transport of joy Arwed sprang 
from his horse, drew his sword, and cried to the sol- 
diers : ' in the king's name, halt, left wheel ! ' 

The soldiers obeyed, and Arwed placed himself at 
their head. 

' Think of the hero whose soldiers you are,' cried 
he : ' and of your own glory ; and, in God's name, 
march ! ' 

' God be with us ! ' cried the newly encouraged 
band, rushing on after their leader. Several lives 
were lost in the advance, but the main part, strength- 
ened by the fragments of the other battalions, soon 
stood by the palisades safely sheltered from the fire 
of the enemy's cannon. But now the little musket 
balls whistled from the breastworks, and murderous 
grenades were bursting among them at almost every 

' Force out the palisades and pass the trench ! ' 
commanded Arwed, and with prodigious strength he 
removed some of the pales, which he placed over the 
hard frozen ditch and pushed forward. The soldiers 
followed the example, and the opposite side of the 
wall was soon covered with the clambering troops. 


The Danes defended themselves with great fury, and 
the dear victory was purchased with the sacrifice of 
many Swedish lives. Two musket balls passed 
through Arwed's hat, but in an instant thereafter, he 
stood upon the breastwork and pierced the heart of 
one of the marksmen with his sword. A bayonet- 
thrust of the other grazed his cheek. This one fell 
under the blows given by the clubbed muskets of the 
closely following Swedes, and soon the Swedish ban- 
ner floated proudly over the stormed works. 

Meanwhile the king, who had been attempting an 
entrance on the other side of the wall, hastened hither 
at the head of one of his battalions, and the few 
remaining Danes threw down their arms and begged 
for quarter. 

' What, before me, upon the walls ! ' cried the roy- 
al hero, embracing the bleeding Arwed. ' There is 
yet a true Swede I You are a captain of the guards, 

* We have two companies, prisoners,' said Siquier, 
stepping up to the king with a sanguinary expression 
of countenance. They have compelled us to storm 
the place, and their lives are forfeited. Does your 
majesty command their execution?' 

' Right, Siquier,' answered Charles, affecting to 
misunderstand him, ' Let the poor creatures be fed in 
our camp, — and when they have satiated their appe- 
tites, let them promise not to fight against me again 
in this war — and then, in God's name, let them go 
in peace.' 


* As your majesty commands ! ' said Siquier, gra- 
ting his teeth and proceeding to the execution of the 
unwelcome commission. 

' If the lord has remitted ten thousand shekels to 
us,' said Charles, turning graciously to Arwed, ^ surely 
we can remit a trifling debt to our fellow men ; — can 
we not, my dear captain ? ' 

* Hail to the hero .who knows how to pardon as well 
as to conquer ! ' exclaimed Arwed with enthusiasm. 

* No flattery ! ' cried Charles, stamping angrily. * I 
know that it was fairly meant, but I do not like it.' 

He departed. Arwed leaned against the breast- 
work and observed the trains of Danish prisoners who 
were being escorted into the camp. Then glancing 
proudly upon the blood-besprinkled place he had con- 
quered — and afterwards towards the east, where 
Stockholm lay, — he sighed, < had but Georgina 
seen me ! ' 


Brightly shone the light of chandelier and gueridon 
through the plate glass windows of the royal palace 
on the Ritterholm, and most beautifully was its bril- 
liancy reflected by the quiet waters of the Malar lake. 
The princess Ulrika Eleonore, of Hesse, gave an assem- 
bly and card party- — and the variously adorned nobility 
floated through the gilded rooms, soothing, caressing, 
deceiving, calumniating, fondling and boring each other. 
Behind the curtains of one of the most retired windows 
leaned the affectionate Georgina, gazing with anxious 
interest over the lake towards the Suedermalm, where 
in quiet obscurity lay before her the place where she 
had met and parted with her lover. Near her sat the 
princess, with the governor. Baron Taube, and the 
elder Gyllenstierna, at a card table. 

' Is there any news from Norway V asked Ulrika, 
shuffling the cards. 

* From Armfelt's corps,' answered Taube, ' we have 
been a long time without intelligence, — but, as a 
friend writes me, the king has taken an important 
battery before FrederickshalL' 

' It is well that some one yet holds correspondence 


in Sweden, saidUlrika with bitterness, hastily dealing 
the cards. ' My husband is not permitted to write 
openly upon the affairs of the campaign, and of the 
communications of my brother nobody in the capital 
is permitted to have a glimpse; — and least of all 
myself, who have the misfortune to be a woman.' 

' Was our loss great V asked old Gyllenstierna, 
assorting his cards. 

' They speak of seven hundred,' answered the gov- 
ernor : ' and the loss would have been still greater and 
perhaps wholly in vain^ had not the king himself and 
a young volunteer placed themselves at the head of 
the faltering troops and led them on to victory.' 

A delightful anticipation thrilled the bosom of the 
listening Georgina. And in the self-forgetfulness of 
love, she was even upon the point of stepping forward 
and asking the narrator the unbecoming question of 
the name of the volunteer, when the father of her 
beloved spared her the pain of witnessing the court- 
ier's contemptuous smile, by himself putting the 

' My informant named him Gyllenstierna,' answered 
Taube : ' but as your excellency's son has gone to 
Armfelt's camp, I suppose I must have misunderstood 

' Who knows !' murmured the old count, calling to 
mind the last unavailing request of his son ; and in 
pondering upon all the possibilities of the case he 
lost his game. 

' Were it not for that,' proceeded Taube, ' I should 


have much pleasure in congratulating your excellency. 
The king advanced the brave volunteer to the grade 
of captain of the guards upon the spot.' 

* My hero ! my Arwed !' exulted Georgina in her 
heart, and her white hand waved a fond kiss towards 
the west. 

' Such transient gleams of military success give me 
more anxiety than pleasure,' said XJlrika. ' They 
decide not the main question, and serve only to 
increase my brother's obstinacy. His game is lost 
beyond remedy. Continued misfortune would finally 
open his eyes and induce him to take the only course 
by which he can save himself.' 

* That would have happened long ago,' whispered 
Taube to her, * did not baron Goertz, through his 
fata morgana^ know how to keep up his sinking 

' Very true I ' said Gyllenstierna. ^ And had it not 
been for his experiment of debasing the coin, this 
campaign would have been impossible.' 

* Indeed,' added Taube : ' were the old heathen 
gods, whom he has conjured up from the vasty deep, 
to bring national bankruptcy upon Sweden, what 
would the foreigner care ?' 

^ I know not among men one w^hom I so cordially 
hate as this Goertz,' said Ulrica in an under tone, and 
her eyes gleamed so fiercely that Georgina, who from 
her concealment saw the look, shrunk with fear, 
although she did not hear the words that accom- 
panied it. 


A chamberlain in service now announced to Ulrika 
that baron Goertz, who had just arrived from Aland, 
and was passing through Stockholm on his way to 
Frederickshall, begged permission to wait upon her 
royal highness. 

' It is not granted ! ' said Ulrika with cold disdain. 

* I know not,' whispered Taube to her, ' if your 
highness would do well to render your displeasure 
palpable to this cunning man. The mortified ambition 
of a parvenu is revengeful, and Goertz proceeds hence 
directly to his majesty.' 

' Am I not mistress even in my own apartment ! ' 
cried Ulrika with vehemence. ' It has come to a fine 
pass I ' She arose from the table and laid down her 
cards. * I am indisposed,' said she to the chamberlain : 
' am about to withdraw to my chamber, and can see 
no one.' 

The servant bowed and retired to deliver the ungra^ 
cious message. The princess called her ladies and 
hurried from the saloon, which was soon filled with 
the timid murmurs of the courtiers. Taube took the 
arm of Gyllenstierna, and walked up and down the 
room in a low and anxious conversation with him. 

* My poor father ! how hast thou with thy warm and 
generous heart, strayed to this cold and hostile land ! ' 
cried Georgina, who had closely observed the last 
scene ; — and, careless of the remarks which her 
disregard of etiquette might elicit, she hastened from 
the assembly to greet her beloved father. 



The fieldmarshal Rhenskioeld sat waiting, upon 
the sofa in the cabinet of baron von Goertz. The 
latter returned from the palace, and his indignation 
at the offensive answer he had received, gave w^ay to 
the joy of again meeting his friend. 

' I thank you, my worthy friend,' said he, embracing 
Rhenskioeld, ' that you have complied with my 
request so promptly. It w^as my duty to visit yaii^ but 
my hours are all numbered. I shall be compelled to 
labor through the whole night, and in the morning I 
shall be on my way towards FrederickshalL' 

* You come from Aland ? ' eagerly asked Rhenski- 
oeld : ' what news from thence V 

' Thank God ! ' cried Goertz with clasped hands : 
' I bring you peace with Russia.' 

' Peace ! ' exclaimed Rhenskioeld, springing from 
his seat. ' Peace between the shrewd czar, who 
never fails to follow up an advantage, and our Charles, 
Avhom misfortune only renders the more inflexible ? It 
is impossible ! Even could you really obtain tolerable 
conditions yet would the king never accept them.' 


' The splendid conditions which I bring will cer- 
tainly be ratified by him,' answered Goertz. ' Peter re- 
tains nothing of his conquests except Livonia, a part of 
Ingermanland and Caralia. He yields back all besides.' 

' Peter give any thing back ! ' screamed Rhenski^ 
oeld, with astonishment. 

' Russia,' proceeded Goertz, ' binds herself with us, 
to set upon the throne of Poland the same Stanislaus 
whom she formerly chased from it, and furnishes 
80,000 men to enthrone the same august personage 
against whom she has been fighting the last ten 

' You must be relating to me a fable from the 
thousand and one nights ! ' said Rhenskioeld incred-? 

' Russia,' proceeded Goertz, * is to furnish shipping 
for the conveyance of 10,000 Swedes to England to 
sustain the Pretender. In connection with Sweden, 
she seizes upon Hanover. We take Bremen and 
Verden, re-establish the duke of Holstein, force Prussia 
to give up her booty, and compel the emperor to 
observe the treaty of Altranstadt.' 

' And now are you awake ? ' asked the fieldmarshal 
with a satirical smile : * for thus do such narrations 
usually terminate when the narrator has only been 

Goertz stopped and gazed at his auditor. He how- 
ever conquered his impetuosity, went to his writing 
desk, took from it a manuscript, and with the excla- 
mation, ' read,' gave it to the fieldmarshal. 


Rhenskioeld read — and as he read his eyes opened 
wider and wider, while in the same ratio his brow 
became knit with anger, and he appeared to struggle 
with some highly unpleasant feeling. Finally, he 
silently gave back the paper, rose up^ and took his hat 
and sword. 

'You appear to be convinced, now, sir fieldmarshal,' 
said Goertz : ' but the conviction does not seem to 
please you, notwithstanding you have had a great 
share in bringing about the peace. Had you not 
brought the king to better thoughts when already the 
whole negociation threatened to miscarry, I should 
never have arrived where I am to-day. '^ 

* Yes,' answered Rhenskioeld, coldly : ^ it gives me 
pleasure to learn that I have been the ladder upon 
which you have mounted to the pinnacle, and I wish 
you joy of it.* 

He bowed very formally and departed. Goertz 
himself lighted him out. ' Another friend lost ! ' 
said he as he came back. * I already perceive that 
this peace is too advantageous for Rhenskioeld not to 
envy my instrumentality in its conclusion.' 

Directly, he heard a slight knock at the door, and a 
delicate voice asked, ' may we now come in ? ' 

'Walk in I' cried Goertz, who well knew the little 
voice, with a smile of paternal pleasure, and his little 
daughter Magdalena, led by Georgina, skipped into 
the room. With impetuous feeling, Georgina fell upon 
his neck, whilst Magdalena climbed upon his knees 
and compelled him to take her in his arms. 


• Ou peut-on etre mieux qu'au sein de sa famille 1 ' 
said the father, kissing the little Magdalena right heart- 
ily. ' My own house, I verily believe, is the only place 
in Sweden where I can meet with sincere affection.' 

' Yes, indeed, my father,' said Georgina with a sigh. 
' I daily perceive more and more clearly how little 
justice you have to expect in a country you are labor- 
ing to save. The audience this evening denied you 
is a fresh instance. The princess was not ill — she 
feigned illness that she might have a pretext for 
refusing to see you.' 

' It will be indeed an evil day for me,' said Goertz, 
smiling, ' when my destiny shall be in the hands of 
Ulrika. She can never forgive me that her brother now 
places that confidence in me which he has always with- 
held from her. But how comes it that you, Georgina, 
with your fifteen years, evince such deep observation ? ' 

Long did he look at her in deep meditation. * In 
truth,' proceeded he, ' it appears to me that you have 
shot up wonderfully tall, and that which with you wo- 
men they call reason has developed itself with wonderful 
rapidity. Right beauteous are you, also, and in your 
eyes I see a kindling of enthusiasm. You cannot yet 
by any means have learned that you have a heart ? ' 

Georgina, who during this sharp review had kept 
her eyes cast down, now raised them timidly up and 
sought to read the expression of her father's face. 
The kindness and good nature which she found im- 
pressed there, gave her courage, and pressing his hand 
to her lips she threw herself at his feet. 


' What means this ? * asked he indignantly, with* 
drawing his hand. ' I am no tyrant such as they 
portray in French tragedies, nor am I fond of theatrical 
scenes in real life. Stand up if you wish me to 
listen to you/ 

' Never, until you forgive me,' sobbed Georgina : 
' I love ! ' 

' So my observation did not deceive me,' said her 
father. ' You love ? a little too early, I must confess. 
But stand up, and tell me at once whom you love.' 

' The count Gyllenstierna,' lisped Georgina, in a 
scarcely audible voice. 

' Poor child ! ' exclaimed Goertz, compassionately. 
' That will be a troublesome affair to arrange.' 

' That is what we have feared ! ' cried Georgina, 
wringing her hands and rising up. 

' I would not at any rate bring forward any objec- 
tions against the young man,' proceeded Goertz. ' But 
both of you have wholly overlooked the fact, that his 
father is one of my most decided enemies. I would 
rather undertake to bring about a peace between 
Sweden and Denmark than between him and me. 

The little Magdalena then threw her small, white 
arms round her father's neck. ' Pray, pray,' implored 
she, ' give to poor Georgina her Arwed ; she loves 
him so very much.' 

' Magdalena then is your confidant ? ' Goertz asked 
Georgina good humoredly : ' she knows even the 
christian name of your chosen one. But children, 
this affair, indeed, takes me by surprise. However^ 


for the present, at least, I shall not say no. To the 
2/65, it will be necessary to gain the consent of another 
besides the weak father of a beloved daughter. Mean- 
while, I should like to become a little acquainted with 
your Corydon. So bring him in, Georgina, for no 
doubt you hold him in ambuscade ready for the occa- 

* You do me great injustice, dear father,' said 
Georgina, whose maiden sensibility was touched. 
* Arwed is in the Swedish camp, before Frederickshall. 
He has already conquered a battery, for which the 
king has named him a captain in the guards.' 

^ That, I confess, is being far on the way to a field- 
marshalship :' said Goertz, jestingly, to conceal his 
surprise. ^ At present I rejoice that your choice does 
you honor every way : what further may come, is in 
the hands of God. The idea is very agreeable to me, 
through the medium of a beloved daughter to connect 
myself with one of the noble houses of the country in 
which I hope to naturalize myself by my unceasing 
labors for its welfare. If the other party would only 
think the same I But old Nils Gyllenstierna will have 
many and strong objections.' 

* So Arwed also thought,' said Georgina sorrow- 

* Yes, yes,' said Goertz, looking sadly forward : * I 
have now in all Sweden but one only friend, and my 
sole happiness is that he wears Sweden's crown.' 
Thus saying, he rose up and ardently embraced his 

. daughters. ' Retire to rest now, children,' said he : 


' go and build your airy castles, as brightly colored 
and dazzling as you please. And if time destroy them, 
still will you have enjoyed the pleasures of hope, — and 
that is much in a world whose joys consist almost entire- 
ly in anticipation and remembrance. Go ! I must yet 
watch and labor for Sweden and for you. Rewarded 
by this land with hatred, from your hearts I expect love 
and gratitude, and will therewith consider myself com- 

* All will yet end well, dear father,* said Georgina, 
consolingly. * Since I have confessed to you my 
secret, and since you have received it so kindly, a 
heavy weight is removed from my breast. I breathe 
again with ease and joy, and already feel as if my 
aim was attained and nothing more could be w^antin'^' 
in this world.' 

The girls retired, and Goertz closed the door after 


The afternoon service of the first Advent Sunday 
had ended in the camp before FrederickshalL The 
warriors were dispersing, and, arm in arm with adju- 
tant Kolbert, Arwed sauntered towards the nearest 
sutler's barrack, to play a game of chess. The place 

«jvvholly unoccupied, and the hostess was standing 
e door, waiting for her guests, her parti-colored 
holiday dress serving as a sign board. The two 
friends sat themselves down, with a flask of Burgun- 
dy, to the bloodless battle. The sleet was lightly 
drizzling upon the hard frozen ground out of doors. 
From the walls of the city and from high Fredericks- 
teen the heavy artillery sent a dull sound through the 
storm, whilst, in the camp, the besieging laborers ceas- 
ed from work to honor the consecrated day of rest. 
The Sabbath stillness was only interrupted now and 
then by a crash in the barracks and a cry from the 
soldiers, when one of the enemy's balls happened to 
take effect. But that did not interrupt the players. 
They had become so deeply interested in their game 
that they did not once perceive how the room gradu- 


ally became filled with officers, many of whom placed 
themselves behind their chairs to overlook the game. 

Suddenly, with angry impetuosity, Arwed took one 
of his opponent's knights with his king. 

' Stop ! ' cried Kolbert, holding fast his officer. 
* Your bishop will by that movement remain uncover- 
ed, and I shall immediately take him.' 

' Take him,' said Arwed. ' Your knight is trouble- 
some to me, and must die.' 

' A mere exchange, for the sake of exchanging, — that 
is manifestly contrary to the etiquette of the game ! ' 

' It was not a mere exchange,' protested Arwed. 
' You had a mischievous plan. Had you led him out, 
I were lost. Your knight in the place where he stood 
was worth more than an ordinary officer, and I 
no longer defend myself against him. Wherefol 
exchanged to advantage, and I should always do the 
same imder like circumstances. Even if my opponent 
lose no more than myself by the movement, yet I win 
temporary relief at least, break up his attack, and 
compel him to resort to new manoeuvres.' 

' And to use the king like a subaltern officer is not 
civil,' grumbled Kolbert. 

' My king shall not keep himself behind the cannon, 
like a Persian shah,' answered Arwed. ' Whenever 
necessity requires it, he must expose himself as well 
as one of his soldiers.' 

' A regular Charles Xllth,' cried some one behind 
him, with a scornful laugh. Arwed turned suddenly 
round and perceived the chief engineer, Megret, a 



Frenchman by birth, who with a satyr-like face was 
leaning over the back of his chair. 

' I thank you for the comparison, colonel, even 
though it was ironically intended,' said the youth in a 
decidedly cutting tone. * Would to God that we allj 
not excepting even you, were able to imitate the eleva- 
ted character of our noble king in good and evil for- 
tune ; what accomplished men should Ave then be ! ' 

Megret bit his lips and retired to another table, 
where he got up a company to play pharo. 

' This is my first campaign,' proceeded Arwed with 
enthusiasm : ' and I have seen the king in battle only 
twice in my life, but that has furnished sufficient proof 
of his worth as a brave warrior and skilful command- 
er. He is always great, but when he has his sword 
in his hand he is more than man — almost a demi-god 
— and one feels tempted to worship him.' 

* Not so, young man,' answered a hollow voice. 
' That Avas a very improper speech.' 

Arwed recognised the voice as one he had heard 
before. Raising his eyes, he saw behind Kolbert's 
chair a meagre man about thirty years of age, in the 
dress of a civilian. His close-bodied coat, with broad 
turned-up sleeves, his long waistcoat and his small 
clothes, all of one colour, ash-gray velvet, together 
with his dark colored wig, gave him an uncommonly 
strange and solemn appearance, which his fixed and 
expressive eye rendered still more disagreeable. 

Indignant at the reproof conveyed by the Avords of 
the stranger, ArAved abruptly and harshly asked the 
gray form, ' AA^hat do you mean by that, sir ? ' 


' I mean,' answered the gray coat, * that it always 
makes my flesh crawl to hear a true hero so exces- 
sively praised. His renown cannot be increased there- 
by, and the old Fatum becomes easily jealous of such 
idolatry and oftentimes wreaks its vengeance upon the 
idol. Think of the anticipations of the great Gusta- 
vus Adolphus, to whom Germany did slavish homage 
in the altitude of his fortunes, and recollect his sad 

' I do not like these nursery tales,' said Arwed an- 
grily ; ' and superstition, when it makes lofty preten- 
sions, is highly offensive to me.' 

* You cannot know the man to whom you speak,' 
said captain count Posse, stepping forward to appease 
Arwed. ' That we are here so near to Frederickshall, 
and that you have here acquired your first laurels, 
you may thank him alone. Through his deep science 
was general Duecker enabled to construct the wooden 
pier between the bays of Stevemstadt and Idefiall, over 
\vhich our ships were transported upon ingenious ma- 
chines from one navigable Vv^ater to the other.' 

' Is it possible ! Swedenborg ? ' quickly exclaimed 
the softened Arwed with joyful surprise, offering the 
hand of peace to the gray-coat. * Swedenborg ! Swe- 
benborg ! ' the murmur ran through the company, and 
the officers pressed around to catch a glance at the 
wonderful man. 

' Swedenborg ! ' cried Megret, laughingly, from the 
other table, ' do you find yourself here again? What 
news do you bring with you ? How stand affairs in 
the celestial and subterranean regions ? ' 


* The angels are weeping and the devils laughing ! ' 
answered Swedenborg with awful earnestness. 

* And what say your spirits thereto ? ' sneeringly 
added the Frenchman. 

' They are silent in the presence of impure souls,' 
resumed the prophet in a tone of thunder, which clos- 
ed the lips of the scorner. 

' Is captain Gyllenstierna here ? ' cried adjutant 
general Siquier, putting his head in at the door. 

' He is here,' answered Arwed, rising from his seat. 

* In an hour the king will expect you at his quar- 
ters,' said Siquier, stepping to the pharo table. 

' Most certainly, he wishes to say a friendly word in 
relation to your conduct in the late action,' observed 
count Posse. * Your enemies, even, must acknowledge 
that you have deserved it.' 

' Thank you, captain, for the acknowledgment that 
I did my duty,' said Arwed modestly. ' Yet there 
were many others who did as much, if not more, in that 

' Whoso abaseth himself shall be exalted,' said Swe* 
denborg, with benevolent kindness, laying his hand 
upon Arwed's shoulder. 

' You are come opportunely, Siquier,' said Megret 
derisively. ' You have long been desirous of having 
your horoscope cast. There stands a professor of the 
high art, the great Swedenborg. Give him a good 

' It would occupy too much of my time,' answered 
Siquier. * It takes long, I have heard, to make the cal* 


culations, and I must shortly return to the prince. But 
Swedenborg must also be an experienced chiromancer, 
and can foretell my good fortune, from my hand.' 

With malicious levity, he held out his hand to the 
insulted man. But the latter threw it forcibly back, 
exclaiming, ' your hand smells of blood. I have 
nothing to do with you ! ' 

The scoffer stood a long time, as if suddenly strUck 
by a thunderbolt, staring with amazement at the 
prophet. Soon collecting himself, however, he strode 
out of the room. 

' What was that ? ' asked count Posse, looking 
inquiringly at Megret, The latter, visibly disturbed, 
shuffled the cards anew, and at length said with a 
forced smile, ' one fool makes many others.' 

' That was too much in earnest for folly,' thought 

' If it be agreeable to you,' said Arwed in ill 
humor to Kolbert, ' we will leave our game unfinished. 
I have no longer the ability to play. My head has be- 
come unusually disturbed by the strange conversation 
to which I have been compelled to listem' 

Kolbert, acquiescing, threw the chessmen in a heap. 
Arwed stepped to the pharo table and seized some 
cards Avhich were quickly thrown to him. 

'Take the king,' said Swedenborg to him: 'he is 
the banker's enemy.' 

Megret was evidently startled, and with a vehe- 
mence vastly disproportionate to tho occasion, he 
asked Swedenborg, ' what do you mean ? Do you 
intend to insult me ? ' 


' He who is evil has evil thoughts,' answered Swe- 
denborg quietly. * I gave to my young friend good 
advice, founded upon my calculations of the game.' 

' I prefer to advise myself,' said Arwed, — impatient 
of the obtrusiveness of the stranger, • — retaining the 
old cards which uninterruptedly fell from the banker. 

' Make the experiment with the king once, to grati- 
fy me,' begged Kolbert in an under tone, ' if only 
from curiosity. If you lose we shall then be enabled 
to ridicule your adviser.' 

' Not willingly,' said Arwed. Finally, however, he 
set the card which had been recommended. — It won, 

'His majesty bears himself bravely,' said Kolbert, 
laughing ; ' the banker can obtain no advantage over 

Megret angrily threw to Arwed his winnings, at the 
same time fixing his rolling eyes upon the prophet. A 
passionate remark appeared to hover upon his tongue, 
but he suppressed it and the playing proceeded. 

' How stands it now with our expedition against 
Drontheim ? ' asked Kolbert at the close of the game. 
* I am surprised that we have had no well-founded 
intelligence from thence for so long a time.' 

^According to my calculations,' said Posse, ' Arm- 
felt must have already entered Drontheim. Have 
you no news from thence, Herr Swedenborg ? "What 
is our army about ? ' 

' They are plundering the copper mines of Roeraas,' 
answered Swedenborg coolly. 

' That would not be very agreeable to me ! ' said 


Posse jestingly. * The position is somewhat distant 
from the capital, and would give the appearance of a 
retreat. This time, however, I firmly believe in a glo- 
rious victory for our arms. Do you not, also ? ' 

' Excuse my answering,' said Swedenborg sorrow- 
fully. ' The powerful elements hate mankind, and 
they are the stronger ! ' 

The ofRcers looked thoughtfully at each other, and 
a profound stillness pervaded the assembly. 

' Let the Finlanders protect theii' own skins,' said 
Kolbert, finally breaking the mournful silence. ' We 
will stick to Frederickshall, w^hich we have already in 
our hands. The golden lion battery has been won af- 
ter a brilliant engagement. When once the trenches 
are pushed a little further, then with a resolute esca- 
lade we shall be there.' 

* For God's sake, my dear friend ! ' said Sweden- 
borg, anxiously, 'rely not so confidently upon the 
uncertain fortune of war ! Bound to the wild steed 
of accident, the goddess of fortune ranges through the 
world — and when she stops and looks back upon her 
bloody and smoking path, she finds that she has only 
described a hopeless circle. She stands upon the point 
whence she started, and all the life and happiness, 
which she has trampled down in her furious course, is 
offered up in vain.' 

' You speak so learnedly that I cannot wholly un- 
derstand you,' laughingly observed Kolbert ; ' but I 
gather from your conversation, that you lack the true 
soldier's faith. You have done well, therefore, in con- 


secrating yourself to the pen. The sword would make 
you too deeply anxious. We, on the contrary, when 
our king leads us forth, would cheerfully grapple with 
the devil himself in his own dominions, and sing ov^Y 
him the te deum 'prmnumerandoJ^ 

' And who can guarantee, proud man,' asked Swe- 
denborg with a piercing glance, * that your king will 
see the breaking of another morning, to lead you on 
to strife and victory ? ' 

He speedily withdrew. An indignant murmur arose 
among the officers. ' It is almost too bad,' said count 

' Yes, indeed ! ' grumbled Megret. ' And the worst 
of it is, that they should permit such fools to run about 
freely in the camp, exciting and perplexing weak 

* Swedenborg certainly is not a fool,' said Posse, 
' but a warning example of the disorder which fanci- 
ful ideas may create in a clear and ripe understanding.' 

' Besides, he is never once original,' said Kolbert. 
^ The prophecy of the king's approaching death has 
been circulating through the camp for several days.' 

* Original or copy,' said Megret, spitefully, ' one 
should not publish his fanciful ideas on every occasion. 
And whatever of sound understanding he may have, 
according to the count's opinion, might be allowed by 
all parties to circulate freely, and no harm done.' 

At this moment Siguier re-entered with evident 
agitation, and whispered to Megret, ' the king visits 
the trenches this evening.' 


'Diable!' cried Megret, snapping his fingers^ 
' Cannot you dissuade him from it ? ' 

' Dissuade him ! ' said Siquier. ' Dost thou not 
know the king ? Make your preparations/ 

' To-morrow evening I shall have the honor to give 
the gentlemen their revenge/ said Megret courteously, 
closing his box. ' I must now repair to the trenches, 
Come, Siquier, our way lies in the same direc- 
tion for some distance, and I have yet much to say to 

The two Frenchmen w^ent forth together, arm in 
arm. Arwed followed them out, and saw that they 
were engaged in very earnest conversation and struck 
their hands together with much vehemence. The cir- 
cumstance surprised him, he knew not wherefore, and 
he made an effort to catch something of their conver- 
sation, which was carried on in rather a loud voice. 
The tones came distinctly to his ear in the stillness of 
the evening, but he could not understand a w^ord of it, 
and soon convinced himself that they were conversing 
in a language w^hose barbarous sounds were unknow^n 
to him. * What can all this mean ? ' he asked himself, 
looking dubiously after the two officers until they 
disappeared from his eyes into the trenches. 

' The hour has elapsed,' suddenly observed some 
one near him. ' You may as well go now to the king, 
sir captain.' 

Arwed peered about him through the evening dusk, 
and thought he perceived near him the tall, meagre 
form of Swedenbor^. 


' How came you here, sir, taking so active a part in 
my affairs ? ' asked he morosely. 

' I have perceived in you a strong mind and a pure 
heart,' answered Swedenborg ; ' and for that reason I 
consider you as one of those chosen vessels of the 
Lord, of whom he has need in these wicked times. 
Therefore I conjure you to repair instantly to the king 
and stir not from his side until this night is past. I 
am convinced that there is danger of most fearful 
doings, as I have recently observed appalling signs in 
the heavens.' 

' Spare me your astrological dreamings,' answered 
Arwed impatiently. ' So long as God leaves me in 
possession of my senses, I can never give credence to 

' Do you always judge so hastily and uncharitably, 
my young warrior ? ' asked Swedenborg, mildly re- 
proaching him : ' and do you absolutely despise and 
reject every thing that your weak understanding 
cannot comprehend ? Know you the central power of 
nature, that point in infinite space whence issue the 
streams of power in an eternal spiral motion, bringing 
forth the forms of life and activity in endless suc- 
cession ? And while you remain ignorant of all these 
things, how can you presume to reject calculations 
founded upon this eternal basis ? ' 

* I cannot argue with you,' answered Arwed, ' while 
I do not understand you : — and, in the mean time, I 
must be permitted to consider as perfect nonsense 


what you have been serving up to me as the highest 

' Hold me and my doctrines in what light you please,' 
said Swedenborg, ' so you but fulfill my request. Lose 
not sight of the king, during this night. The powers 
of hell are busy.' 

' What can threaten the hero from which I may be 
able to defend him ? ' asked Arwed. 

' He who eats my bread tramples me under foot,' 
chanted Swedenborg, with a deep hollow voice. ' Thus 
it happened to Gustavus, by the fourth rider who left 
the camp with him. Do you know the tale from the 
faithful Hastenfeld, of his king's assassination ? ' 

' What mean you by that i ' asked Arwed earnest- 
ly. — But the prophet had disappeared. 


Arwed arrived at the king's quarters. — Upon giving 
his name, the ordnance officer on duty showed him 
into the royal chamber, without further annunciation. 
With a prayer book in his lap, and a miniature in his 
hand which he was attentively viewing, Charles sat by 
the chimney, in which some sheets of paper were 
burning. A heap of glowing ashes showed that a large 
quantity of paper had been previously destroyed in the 
same manner. — Arwed approached the king, who, 
sitting with his back towards him and absorbed in the 
contemplation of the miniature, was not aware of his 
presence. Arwed saw and recognized the picture. It 
was the portrait of Gustavus Adolphus. Then sudden- 
ly Swedenborg's prophecy came into his mind, and a 
secret apprehension respecting the hero, drew from 
him a deep sigh. 

The king looked around. ' Aha, captain Gyllen- 
stierna I ' said he, rising up and carefully putting aside 
the prayer book and portrait. ' You showed much 
bravery against the enemy in yesterday's action. 
You are too young for the rank of major, and I do not 


like to give stars and orders. Have you any favor to 

' This commendation from my king is the greatest 
favor that could be conferred upon me,' answered 
Arwed. ' If your majesty will but continue as kindly 
disposed towards me, I shall be more than rewarded.' 

* No ! * said the king vehemently, ' I will not remain 
your debtor. God may call me to himself to-day or 
to-morrow, and then must my earthly accounts be 
balanced. Ask some favor of me. I am well disposed 
tow^ards you.' 

' Now or never ! ' said Arwed to himself, and turn- 
ing to the king : ' I love the daughter of your majesty's 
minister, baron von Goertz : the animosity of our 
respective fathers opposes an insurmountable obstacle 
to our union: vouchsafe, your majesty, to intercede 
for us.' 

' You are a simpleton ! ' replied the king scornfully, 
while with long and rapid strides he paced up and 
down the chamber. * Silly request I ' exclaimed he 
after a while, smiling in his peculiar manner : ' and 
I think it unjust, since you know my opinion of matri- 
mony.' After which, he walked two or three times 
up and down the room, and then stopping directly in 
front of Arwed, asked him, * you are so good a soldier, 
Gyllenstierna, how have you been able to attach your- 
self to a woman ? ' 

' Baroness von Goertz,* answered Arwed, ' is so 
lovely that your majesty would find it natural enough 
were you once to see her.' 


^ That may you very naturally believe,' answered 
the king smilingly. After a pause, shaking his head, 
he observed, * I only wish to know what delight men 
can find in what is called love ? ' 

' It is indeed the greatest happiness in life, your 
majesty,' answered Arwed with enthusiasm. 

' It would not be well for me that it should be so, 
for then should I have missed the greatest good,' said 
the king. ' Yet will a place in history always remain 
to me, and fame with posterity ! ' He walked to the 
chimney, and, collecting the coals together with his 
foot, observed, ' I will cause her father to be written 
to. I will speak to Goertz myself. I expect him about 
this time from Aland.' 

'Your majesty!' — stammered the surprised and 
delighted youth. 

' It is very well !' said the king, interrupting him, 
and at that moment Siquier entered. 

' Your majesty is now about to visit the trenches,' 
said Arwed, recollecting Swedenborg's request. ' May 
I be allowed to accompany you ? I might, perhaps, 
learn something practically of the duties appertaining 
to a siege.' 

The king kindly nodded assent. Siquier made a 
disagreeable face, and they started. 

At the entrance of the trenches they were received 
by count Schwerin, who commanded there, captain 
Posse and adjutant Kolbert ; and not without some 
embarrassment, came colonel Megret to meet them. 
The king now sent away Posse and Kolbert upon some 


secret errand, and proceeded with Megret and Siquier 
into the trench. Arwed followed at some distance. 
It was a bitter cold, moonless night, but the stars 
shone clear. The Danes fired incessantly from Freder- 
ickshall, and their balls often struck within the walls 
of the trench ; but the king, paying no attention to it, 
proceeded quietly forward with his companions. They 
now came to a place where the passage in the trench 
made an angle with the parallel, and from beyond 
which the pickaxes and shovels of the sappers could 
be heard. 

There the king suddenly stopped and leaned upon 
his long SAVord. ' No farther advanced, Megret ? ' 
asked he, with evident displeasure. 

* The soil is frozen hard, your majesty !' apologized 
the latter, somewhat perplexed. ' Were we compelled 
to open the trenches through rocks, it would not be 
much more difficult.' 

' There has been time enough ! ' said Charles. ' I 
am very much dissatisfied ! ' 

' I will pledge my head,' said Megret, ' that we 
have the fortress in eight days ! ' 

' We shall see,' answered the king, kneeling upon 
the inner scarp ; leaning his head upon the parapet 
with his face turned towards the enemy, he looked 
long and anxiously towards the sappers, who were 
quietly and assiduously pursuing their labors. 

At this moment a confused noise was heard from 
the camp. ' Go and see what is the matter, Gyllen- 
stierna,' commanded the king : * and bring me a report.' 


* Do you command it, your majesty ? ' replied Arwed, 
with a heavy heart ; for at such a moment he dared not 
leave the king alone with the two Frenchmen. 

' Hasten, captain,' whispered Siquier to him. ' The 
king loves not loiterers, and to-day, especially, he is 
not in the best humor.' 

Arwed obeyed with a sigh. As he came out of 
the trenches all had become still again, and from 
count Posse, whom he met, he learned that two 
unruly horses had been the whole cause of the alarm. 
While they were yet speaking of it Swedenborg came 
hastily up to them. With an ice-cold hand he seized 
Arwed's and drew him hastily aside. 

' Where have you left the king ? ' asked he, with 
much earnestness. 

* At the extremity of the trench,' answered Arwed. 
' Megret and Siquier are with him*' 

* Oh, why have you absented yourself from your 
lord ? ' cried Swedenborg, wringing his hands. ' I 
begged of you so earnestly ! ' 

' By his command ;' — answered Arwed, now much 

' For God's sake return immediately to him,' sup- 
plicated Swedenborg, dragging him forward. * God 
grant that we come not too late !' 

They both proceeded rapidly along the trench. In 
the narrow passage, they were met by Siquier. 

* Where is the king ? ' quickly asked Arwed of him. 

* That is what I wished to ask of you ! ' returned 
Siquier, with an insolent yet trembling voice. * I left 



him soon after you did, and in the darkness cannot find 
him againw' 

' That is strange ! ' said Arwed. ' You had better 
go with me, and let us seek our lord where I left him 
in your company.' 

Siquier reluctantly obeyed. They came finally ta 
the old place, which was well known to Arwed. Al- 
ready at some distance he saw the king still in the 
same position, leaning upon the parapet. At the 
same time Megret, joining them, suddenly approached 
the king and bent over him. 

' He is dead ! ' said he after a while, very quietly. 

' The king dead ! ' shrieked Arwed, with wild amaze- 
ment, and running to the nearest guard post, he imme- 
diately returned with a blazing torch. The light 
disclosed a horrid sc^ne* Covered with blood, 
Charles's beautiful hero-like form rested upon the 
inner scarp of the trench. His head had sunk down 
upon the parapet. On the right temple was the death- 
wound. The left eye was sunken in ; the right, strain- 
ed wholly out of its orbit, stared horribly forth ; and 
the right hand, w^hich held the hilt of his sword 
with a convulsive grasp, proved that the brave spirit, 
even on the instant of its flight, w^as disposed to 
resist the impending death. 

A long and fearful pause succeeded the discovery. 
' The play is out ! ' finally observed Megret, break- 
nig the general silence : ' We may now go to sup- 

Arwed looked shudderingly upon the man who 
could treat the sudden and awful death of his general 


and king with such cool insolence — and at that mo- 
ment a horrible suspicion pervaded his soul. 

' This sad occurrence must be concealed from the 
troops,' said Siquier. ' It would entirely dispirit them. 
I will merely inform the prince of Hesse, and he 
can command what further is to be done.' 

He departed in haste. Megret followed him. Ar- 
wed remained with Swedenborg by the corpse, holding 
fast its lifeless left hand, and covering it with his 
kisses and tears. 

* So, it is thy fate to be destroyed by assassination, 
thou kingly hero ! ' mourned the faithful Sweden- 
borg. ' Why couldst thou not have fallen worthy of 
thyself, by the hand of an honorable enemy, in the 
open field of battle ? ' 

' Let us not judge too rashly'and uncharitably,' said 
Arwed, combating, in Swedenborg's, his own suspi- 
cions. ' That the king was hit by one of the balls 
from the batteries of the enemy, is more probable 
than the monstrous crime which you seem to 

' The king's face was turned toward the enemy,' 
said Swedenborg, with grave significancy : ' and the 
ball hit him on the right side. The calibre, to judge 
from the size of the wound, was too small for a heavy 
gun, and no musket would reach this place from the 
walls of FrederickshalL' 

' Impossible ! ' cried Arwed. ' Who could have pro- 
jected such a crime — who could have committed it ?' 

' He who eats my bread tramples me under foot, — 
60 was done to Gustavus by the fourth man who 


rode with him out of the camp :' — said Swedenborg 
in a chanting tone, as if in answer to both questions. 
The trench had now become illuminated with torches 
and filled with warriors. Through the hastening 
crowd of officers pressed the prince of Hesse. 

* It is too true ! ' stammered he, palsied by the horrid 
spectacle, and trembling in every limb. ' Who was 
present when my deceased brother-in-law was struck ? ' 
asked he at length with a trembling voice. 

' God only can answer that question, your highness,' 
said Swedenborg. ' God, who with his heavenly, 
thousand-starred eyes has seen what has happened 
here. We found the royal corpse alone.' 

' Alone,' cried the prince, ' alone has ended the 
life of the hero whose warlike deeds have filled all 
Europe with fear and admiration 1 What is human 
greatness ? ' 

Megret and Siquier now returned with four grena* 
diers of the guards, who with sad, lingering steps, 
brought forward a litter. 

' Let the body be brought to head-quarters, Siquier,' 
commanded the prince : ' and keep the king's death 
secret until Ave have taken such measures as the 
occasion may require. The generals will in the mean 
time assemble at my quarters in council of war. Let 
sentinels be placed on every avenue towards Sweden, 
and let no one venture to leave the camp until 
further orders.' 

' And general Duecker ? ' — asked Siquier, artfully, 
as if he wished to remind the prince of something of 


* He shall immediately depart with his corps,' an- 
swered the prince, after a moment's reflection, ' and 
traverse the passes toward Denmark. Bear to him 
the order.' Yet one look of horror cast he upon the 
dead form of his brother-in-law, and then hastily- 

With pert insolence Siquier advanced to the corpse, 
threw over it a soldier's gray cloak, placed his own 
hat upon the insensible head, and made a sign to the 
grenadiers. The latter advanced weeping, and placing 
the dead body in the litter, closed it. 

^ If you are asked on the way whom you bear,' 
said Siquier, as they raised the litter, ^ answer captain 

The mournful train moved forward. Siquier picked 
up the bloody hat of the king, which lay upon the 
ground, and followed. With sad murmurs the officers 
separated. Swedenborg also had disappeared. Arwed 
remained standing alone, still mechanically holding 
the torch on high, staring unconsciously upon the 
bloody ground from which its light was reflected. At 
length recollecting himself, he angrily thrust the torch 
in the snow upon the parapet until its sparkling and 
crackling flame was extinguished. ' Die ! thou paltry 
flame!' exclaimed he, with uncontrollable grief: 
' die ! This night Sweden's light is extinguished — 
and never, never more will my poor country see the 
dawn of happiness.' 


As Arwed emerged from the trenches he was met 
by adjutant Kolbert. ' It is well that I have found 
you,' said he eagerly : ' I have been some time seek- 
ing you. Come directly with me.' 

' Where ? ' asked Arwed with moody apathy. 
' To general Duecker's,' quickly answered Kolbert. 
' There are collected all those who in their hearts 
were truly devoted to our fallen hero. The meeting 
relates to matters of the highest consequence, which 
must be discussed in all haste. It is asked, who now 
shall wear the crown in our good Sweden ? ' 

' Has the army to decide that question ? ' asked 
Arwed earnestly. 

' Certainly !' said Kolbert, ' and that according to 
the anciently consecrated right of the sword, as for- 
merly exercised by the praetorians of Rome. Only 
come with me. There you will not only hear the 
how, but the wherefore, about which, pedantlike, you 
always first ask.' 

He drew Arwed with him towards general Duecker's 
quarters. They were already crowded with generals 


and officers, who were engaged in low and eager 
conversation. Suddenly they separated, forming a 
large circle, into the middle of which stepped the 
worthy old Duecker. 

' The king is dead ! ' said he with an agitated voice. 
' In the midst of your affliction for this great loss, I 
waive until a more suitable time the important ques- 
tion, — How has the hero fallen ? Our present duty 
is, faithfully to guard the vacant throne as becomes 
faithful vassals and w^arriors, and to take care that 
the crown be set upon a worthy head. You know, 
comrades, that there are two hands which will be 
stretched out for it, and in the opinion of many it is 
yet doubtful whether the nephew or the sister of 
Charles has the best right. I am indeed entirely 
convinced, that the son of the elder sister should take 
precedence of the younger. But the heroes of the 
quill may hereafter fight out these subtleties, if it 
should become necessary. At present I abide simply 
by the will of my king, who has so often been our 
guiding star in battle, as the pole star of heaven 
guides the mariner through opposing storms. Charles 
had a father's love for his nephew, and was reveren- 
ced with filial tenderness by him in return. He took 
him with himself to the field, that he might under his 
own eyes train him to become his worthy successor. 
For his sister he always had an aversion, and the 
thought of female government was as hateful to him, 
as, since the days of the apostate Christina, it must be 
to every true Sw^ede. Wherefore I believe we fulfill 


the unwritten testament of the great departed in rais- 
ing the duke of Holstein to Sweden's throne. He 
already has so far deserved it, that his connection with 
this realm has cost him his possessions. 

' But whatever be done must be done quickly — for 
the husband of the other pretender to the crown is in 
the camp, and already very active in availing himself 
of his field-marshalship to aid her pretensions. I, in 
w^hom he least confides, have already been ordered to 
depart with my corps, and I dare not venture to diso- 
bey, unless protected by a counter order from the king. 
I therefore propose that a deputation from ourselves 
repair immediately to the duke, and beg of him to 
show himself to the troops. We will have the regi- 
ments under arms, proclaim him king in front of them, 
and for the rest depend upon our good swords. Is 
that your will, my friends ? ' 

' Long live our king Charles Xlllth ! ' cried the 
assembled warriors w4th one voice, and every sword 
leaped from its scabbard. While most of the officers 
distributed themselves through the soldiers' barracks, 
to prepare them for the great movement, Duecker 
chose, from among those who remained, the ambassa- 
dors who should accompany him to the duke. Arwed 
found himself one of the number, and the delegates 
immediately repaired to the duke's quarters. The 
sentinels refused them entrance. The discussion which 
this occasioned brought out the valet-de-chambre, 
Koepstorf, the favorite and confidant of the young 


' It is impossible, your excellency, to announce you 
now,' said he to Duecker. * His grace is so shaken 
by the intelligence of the king's death that he has 
yielded himself up entirely to his sad feelings, and 
cannot turn his attention to anything else. The gen- 
tlemen must come again to-morrow morning.' 

' My God ! ' cried Duecker, ' you desire a delay of 
many hours, when Sweden's fate, perhaps, hangs 
upon as many moments. In consequence of the king's 
death, the duke is lawful heir to the crown. We have 
opened the way to the throne for him. The army is 
upon his side. He has only to make his appearance 
and harangue the troops, and they will call him to 
the royal station, in the possession of which he will 
be protected by his good right. But if he delay, his 
aunt will gain possession ; and, once upon the throne, 
she will thence obtain the power to maintain herself 
there. I conjure you, friend, to present all this to 
your lord, and beseech him to hear the representations 
of his true supporters, and not neglect the favorable 
moment which for him, perhaps, may never occur 

' I will do what I can,' answered Koepstorf, shrug- 
ging his shoulders and going in. 

There stood the v/ell disposed warriors, patiently 
waiting to ascertain if the young prince would stoop- 
to take the crown which they were desirous of laying 
at his feet. The valet-de-chambre was gone a long 
time. The cold morning wind blew keenly from the 
direction of Sweden, and they wrapped themselves 


close in their mantles. At length they heard the 
trampling of horses near them, and a troop of some 
ten horsemen trotted hastily by them and took the 
way towards Stroemstadt. 

' Do you know what that means ? ' asked Kolbert 
of the general. * It is colonel Baumgardt, who, by 
the command of the fieldmarshal, goes to meet and 
arrest the baron von Goertz.' 

* Right ! ' cried Duecker with bitterness. * A crime 
more or less, is of no consequence, when a crown is 
to be usurped, and it is highly politic to rob the prince 
of his best supporters. He is, however, little troubled 
by all this, as it seems, and will perhaps patiently 
wait until he is himself arrested in his own quarters.' 

The valet-de-chambre now again came out. ' My 
exertions have not been successful,' said he despond- 
ingly. ' I have placed the whole subject before the 
prince, but have not obtained a favorable hearing. He 
merely allows me to say to your excellency that he 
cannot speak with any person now.' 

Great dissatisfaction was expressed by the whole 
company, and Duecker angrily stamped his foot. ' It 
is a pity we have taken so much pains and incurred 
so much danger,' said he. * Nothing indeed now re- 
mains for us but obedience, as I have no desire to set 
my gray head upon a cast for an ungrateful man. 
Bear to my regiments the order for their departure,' 
said he to his adjutant, and, cursing and swearing by 
the way, he returned to his quarters. 

Oppressed with concern for the father of his belov- 


ed, Arwed followed the general. ' Grant me one 
request,' said he urgently as they entered the quar- 
ters of the latter. ' There will now be very little to 
do here in the way of fighting, and my presence is no 
longer necessary. Procure me a furlough to ride back 
to Stockholm.' 

' To Stockholm ? ' asked Duecker, startled. ' Now, 
directly ? For what purpose, captain ? Do you wish 
to become one of the wheels in the machinery of pol- 
itics which are now destructively working in opposi- 
tion to each other ? You appear to me to be much too 
honest-hearted for that.' 

' From Charles's best friend I will conceal nothing,' 
said Arwed resolutely. * According to my calculation 
Goertz must now either be in Stockholm or will soon 
arrive there. I would warn that true servant of 
our late king, that he may be able to escape from the 
hands of his revengeful enemies.' 

* For which thought may heaven reW^ard you ! ' 
cried Duecker> ' but I fear the issue. In the first place, 
the prince of Hesse is your chief, and it will be dif- 
ficult to procure from him the desired permission, — 
and secondly, you will hardly be able *to outstrip the 
speed of the oflicers already under way for the arrest 
of Goertz.' 

' Obtain me but the permission, general,' persisted 
Arwed : ' the rest shall be my care. I ride a Noriftan 
of unequalled speed and bottom.' 

' I will make the efibrt,' said Duecker ; ^ but hardly 


hope for success. Since Charles's death I am only 
the late Duecker, and my influence has become a 

He had proceeded as far as the door when he was 
met by colonel Brenner. * I come to take leave of 
you, my old friend,' said the latter, heartily embracing 
the general. ' I go this moment with post-horses to 
the capital.' 

' Every body seems to wish to go to Stockholm to- 
night,' said Duecker. ' What hast thou to ask there ? ' 

' His royal highness the prince of Hesse, as he al- 
ready suffers himself to be called,' answered Brenner 
ironically, ^ has already sent forward his beloved and 
trusty Siquier with the mournful news. It might 
afterwards, however, have occurred to him that it 
would not seem exactly proper to leave the communi- 
cation of so important an event to the equivocal 
Frenchman. Wherefore must an honorable Swede 
follow him as the messenger of death ; and as I 
might perhaps be troublesome here, I am in mercy 
selected for that duty.' 

' Will you do me a pleasure and take the captain 
with you ? ' said Duecker. * He has a sudden and 
urgent call to Stockholm, and may not in any other 
way be able to obtain leave of absence.' 

* The prince has allowed me to choose my compan- 
ion,' answered Brenner ; ' and what would I not do 
to pleasure you ? We set off directly, captain. 
Farewell till happier times, my Duecker ! ' 


He hastened forth. Arwed gratefully pressed the 
general's hand, who in return drew him to his heart. 
' God protect you and bless your undertaking ! ' said 
the latter with emotion — and Arwed rushed forth in 
the cold, gray dawn of the awakening morn. 


Courtiers and lacqueys were running about and 
jostling each other in confusion and alarm, when colo- 
nel Brenner with Arwed mounted the broad stone steps 
of the royal palace upon the Ritterholm. With great 
trouble they found a valet-de-chambre, who announced 
them to the princess Ulrika, As they entered the 
ante-chamberj the folding doors of the princess' room 
opened, and Siquier, with shy glances, brushed past 
them. At a motion of the valet they entered the 
audience room. Ulrika was standing by a pier-table, 
upon which lay the king's perforated and bloody hat, 
holding, with a decent appearance of grief, a hand- 
kerchief before her dry eyes. 

' I have the melancholy honor,' said Brenner, draw- 
ing his despatches from his bosom, ' to present to your 
royal highness these letters from your princely hus- 

' Siquier has already informed me of the sad occur^ 
rence,' answered Ulrika, taking the despatch with 
great coolness : * nevertheless I thank you for the zeal 
with which you have executed the commission of the 
hereditary prince.' 


* This officer,' continued Brenner, pointing to Arwed, 
* was one of the first who found the hero's corpse. 
He can inform your royal highness of all the circum- 
stances accompanying this so wholly unexpected 

' Wherefore the details ? ' cried Ulrika, * which 
serve no purpose but to lacerate my heart. If my 
maternal love for this land forces upon me the convic- 
tion that this death is fortunate for Sweden, yet will 
the ties of blood claim their holy rights — and although 
I could never boast of my royal brother's love, yet my 
heart feels his loss with a sorrow w^hich needs no 
additional poignancy.' 

At this moment the chief governor, baron Taube, 
entered the room with a face in which alarm, feigned 
sorrow, and ill-concealed joy, struggled for mastery. 

' You know it already, governor ? ' cried Ulrika, 
advancing hastily to meet him. 

He silently bowed assent. 

* I am confident that in you I have a truly devoted 
friend,' said she to him with a gracious stateliness, 
extending her hand for him to kiss. 

' My life for your royal highness ! ' cried Taube with 
graceful enthusiasm, tenderly kissing the proffered 

' What should be done first, think you ? ' she asked 
him confidentially. 

' I advise that the senate should be assembled this 
evening,' answered Taube, * To be sure its numbers 
are not complete. Three of its members are with the 


army as generals, but in their stead the royal counsel- 
lors are devoted to your royal highness with their lives 
and fortunes.' 

* If ever I have a voice in these lands,' said Ulrika, 
warmly, * these good gentlemen shall not much longer 
wear these titles. I have never approved of my 
father's course in making them servants of his own 
will, instead of counsellors of the empire.' 

' The senate know the gracious intentions of your 
royal highness,' answered Taube ; ' and I am certain 
of the happy consequences. If any thing could make 
me fear, it would be the cabals which baron Goertz 
will not fail to set on foot for the young duke.' 

' Goertz is taken care of ! ' cried Ulrika, with a look 
of hate. ' While we are now speaking here, all power 
to do further mischief is, as I hope, taken from him. 
Let only his house be promptly occupied and his 
papers and property secured.' 

' Then there are his Holstein accomplices,' added 
Taube : ' Dernath, Ecklef, Paulsen, Sallern ^ 

' They must all be arrested this night,' decided 
Ulrika ; ^ all at the same hour, so that no one may be 
warned by the fate of the others. See to it, dear 

' I will have the whole garrison under arms,' an- 
swered Taube, bowing. ^ This business must be 
carried through with rapidity and decision, as every 
thing depends upon the proper employment of the 
present moment.' 

' And tell me, dear baron,' asked Ulrika, grasping 


both of his hands with the most winning kindness, 
* the senate will not compel me to buy the crown at 
too high a price, will they ? ' 

'In relation to that,' answered Taube, with a warn^ 
ing glance towards the officers, who in the heat of the 
conversation had been overlooked until now ; * in re- 
lation to that, I will lay my humble opinions before 
your royal highness at a more private audience,' 

Somewhat alarmed, Ulrika turned towards Brenner, 
and her glance fell directly upon Arwed's large blue 
eyes, sparkling with displeasure, which were fixed 
steadily upon her. She started back, and, with diffi- 
culty summoning composure, asked, ' who is that 
moody young man ? ' 

■ My companion, the captain count Gyllenstierna,' 
answered Brenner for his silent friend. ' A brave 
soldier. He was the first upon the walls of the Golden 
Lion, and won the particular approbation of our late 
blessed king.' 

* Gyllenstierna ? ' asked Taube, eagerly. ^ He is 
then the son of the senator, and was sent by his father 
to Armfelt's army.' 

' The worthy old man was always one of our truest 
friends,' said Ulrika, interrupting him, and bowing 
graciously to Arwed. ' And it will be most agreeable 
to us to learn that the son follows in the father's foot- 
steps. We shall remember to bestow upon him some 
peculiar mark of our favor.' 

She held out her hand for him to kiss. But Arwed, 

highly incensed at all he had heard, would not be 


compelled to show this mark of reverence to a woman 
whom he hated. He stood stiff and motionless, and 
the hand of the queen remained in expectancy, un- 
clasped and imkissed, suspended in the air. 

Shocked at the gross impropriety, the chief governor 
hemmed emphatically. Colonel Brenner anxiously 
endeavored to push Arwed forward, but he would not 
move a limb, and the hand of the princess finally sank 
down by her side. 

' The young man is certainly not well ! ' said Ulrika, 
with much bitterness. 

' After his long and forced journey it would not be 
strange,' said Brenner, apologetically. ' He has need 
of rest. Is it the pleasure of your royal highness that 
we now retire ? ' 

' You can receive your despatches early in the 
morning from the governor,' answered Ulrika with 
displeasure ; ' and for your companion, may he in time 
learn the courtes}' due from every gentleman to a lady, 
even though she were not the sister of his kina:.' 


' Most assuredly,' said Brenner to Arwed, as soon as 
they had left the palace behind them, ' you have a 
very peculiar talent for making your way at court. 
You ought, at the least, to be made a master of cere- 
monies. I have taken you with me to an audience 
once, but I would never do it again.' 

' Had you left me behind you, as I earnestly begged 
of you, colonel,' answered Arwed, ' you would have 
spared me the pain of witnessing the thoroughly 
disgusting scene, and yourself the mortification of my 

' You do not understand the matter,' blustered Bren- 
ner. * It was proper for me to present my companion ; 
and in doing so I was actuated by the best intentions 
towards you. If our own hearts bled at the sad news 
we brought, yet I knew well that it would be right 
welcome here ; and the face that brings good news 
may expect to win the good will of those in authority. 
And every thing was going on so well, and the warm 
sun of favor was beginning to shine clear and bright 
upon you, when satan must come all at once into your 


back SO that you could not bend it, into your arm that 
you could not stretch it out, and into your lips that 
you could not kiss, - — and now the opportunity has 
passed for time and eternity ! ' 

' Let it be past ! ' cried Arvved. ' I cannot outwardly 
honor what I inwardly despise.' 

' You will soon leave the royal service then,' grum- 
bled the colonel : ' for in that service cases of the kind 
may often occur.' 

' Have you any further need of me, colonel ? ' asked 
Arwed, his glance impatiently turning towards the 
palace of Goertz, 

* For to-night, no,' answered Brenner. * But come 
to my quarters early in the morning. We will then 
make arrangements for our return. I will not trouble 
you to go with me to the governor's. After the cap- 
tious remarks which he let fall he might have various 
dangerous questions to ask you — and if your hitherto 
passive awkwardness should become active, I might 
in the end have cause to repent my willingness to 
take you with me.' 

' If I, however,' asked Arwed, seized with a sudden 
presentiment, ' should have occasion to set out upon^a 
journey to-night, would you give me a furlough upon 
my word of honor to appear at the camp before Fred- 
erickshall in eight days ? ' 

' Come not to me with such a strange request ! ' 
cried the colonel with vehemence. * I have no authority 
nor power to grant you such a furlough.' 

'But when the object is to save a good man?' 


asked Anved earnestly, seizing the colonel's hand and 
looking anxiously in his face with his beautiful clear 

The colonel gave him a piercing glance from under 
his gray bushy eye-brows. But the severity of his eye 
soon melted into a more kindly expression. * My old 
friend Duecker is well disposed towards you,' said he : 
^ and there is no falsehood in your face. I see that 
you are one who will keep your word. Go upon your 
own terms whither you will.' 

' May God reward you I ' cried Arwed, hastening 


Dark and gigantic in the evening dusk arose the 
proud palace of the baron von Goertz, and the unlight- 
ed Vv^ndows and the perfect silence which reigned in 
and about it gave it the unpleasant appearance of a 
deserted spectre-castle. Only in one room shone a 
dull light which resembled the blue flame that burns 
in ruins over buried treasures. 

' That is Georgina's light,' said Arwed to himself, 
ao'itated with the conflictiiiof emotions of sorrow and 
joy. He pushed open a little side door near the great 
portal, and creeping softly up the deserted stairs passed 
through the echoing corridors towards Georgina's 
chamber. As he entered he saw his beloved sitting 
at a table and with streaming eyes reading the note 
in which he had warned her of her father's danger. 
Her right hand supported her drooping head, — her 
left had been taken possession of by the little Magda- 
lena, who was endeavoring to administer friendly and 
childlike consolation. 

' Heaven be praised ! ' said Arwed. ' Thou hast 
received my letter in time, and thy father is saved ! ' — 


* Would to God it were so ! ' cried Georgina, with a 
sorrow so deep that it left no room in her heart for joy 
at again seeing her lover. ' My father departed yester- 
day, for Frederickshall. He is accustomed to travel 
with rapidity, and before my courier can overtake him 
he will be already in the hands of his enemies.' 

* That depends upon who the courier is,' said Arwed 
encouragingly. ' I have determined to save the father 
of my beloved, and to spare my country the commis- 
sion of a crime. I will set forth, and should a couple 
of horses fall dead under me it will be a small matter. 
I am only held back for the moment by my concern 
for thee. This palace will soon be occupied, and thy 
father's property confiscated. What a scene will 
await thee if thou remainest without a protector in 
the desolated house ! ' 

' Be not anxious for me,' said Georgina, ringing the 
bell. ' I will immediately repair, with my sister, to 
the count Dernath's, where we are certain of a right 
friendly reception.' 

^ Dernath and all thy father's friends will be arrest- 
ed this night ! ' cried Arwed, in deep anguish. 

' I nevertheless can find some place of refuge in 
Stockholm,' answered Georgina ; ' and thou canst with 
confidence devote thyself to the discharge of a duty to 
which thy heart impels thee.' 

Meanwhile the governess of Georgina entered, 
clasping her hands in astonishment at finding a strange 
young officer in the bed-room of her pupil. 

' Do not alarm yourself respecting my companion. 


dear governess ! ' cried Georgina. ' Your attention is 
now required by affairs of more importance. Instant- 
ly call the women and the two Holstein lacqueys. 
Let some of the best of mine and Magdalena's things 
be packed up, and send the steward to provide a boat. 
We will immediately repair to Blasius Holm, to the 
old invalid post-captain who was, three years ago, 
ransomed at Ystad by my father.' 

* Accompanied by this cavalier ? ' cried the terrified 
governess. ' This looks like an elopement, baroness ! ' 
' Would to God it were ! ' said Georgina sorrowfully. 
' But this cavalier's way lies in quite another direction. 
The king is dead, my father a prisoner if he be not 
saved by scarcely less than a miracle, and during this 
very night will this palace be stormed as though it 
were a strong hold of the Danes. Therefore hasten, 
for our moments are counted ! ' 

Wringing her hands, and followed by the weeping 
Magdalena, the governess retired. 

' Will you not also save your father's papers and 
valuables ? ' asked Arwed. ' The hands which will 
rummage here will be none of the purest.' 

' No !' answered Georgina after some reflection. ' Let 
the commissioners do that for which they may be able to 
answer to God and their own honor. I will not venture 
to touch my father's property. Besides, I am too proud 
to take any thing with me out of Sweden which might 
be claimed as the property of the state. Hasten you, 
now, to the rescue of my beloved father. He was 
to proceed through Westgothland and to pass by 


Stroemstadt. I can give you no more precise infor- 
mation of his route.' 

* Let me first accompany you to your asylum,' said 
Arwed. ^ Before that, I cannot leave you in peace.' 

' God knows how great a consolation your attendance 
upon me would be,' answered Georgina : * but the 
question now is not of my consolation or your peace, 
dear Arwed, — but of my father's rescue. An hour's 
delay may be death to him» Therefore go at once, 
Arwed, fly, save, and there is no reward which you 
may not demand of me in exchange for the life of my 
beloved parent.' 

Saying this, she threw her white arms about his 
neck, printed a fervent kiss upon his lips, and gently 
thrust him out of the door. 



The wearied Arwed pushed the little gothlander, 
which he had purchased at the Rakalse inn instead of 
his overridden Norman, into a smart trot upon the 
high road to Stroemstadt. The rider was almost ex- 
hausted, but his determined spirit, animated by love 
and generosity, impelled the obedient body to renewed 
exertions of its diminishing powers. At length he 
caught a glance of a fast rolling carriage, relieved 
against the border of a snow-clad forest. ' Now is the 
crisis ! ' cried he, burying his spurs so unmercifully in 
his horse's flanks that he flew with him in furious 
career over the frozen ground. After a hard ride of a 
quarter of an hour he overtook the carriage. In it sat 
baron Goertz, wrapped in a fur cloak, and so atten- 
tively reading some papers that he did not perceive the 
approaching horseman. ' I bless my fate,' called out 
the latter, as he reached the carriage, ' that I have 
found your excellency in good time. I bring you im* 
portant intelligence.' 

* Who are you, sir ? ' asked Goertz, disturbed in his 
occupation, with a tone of displeasure. 


* Captain Gyllenstierna,' answered Arwed. * I have 
ridden after you from Stockholm to give you warning 
and save you from a great misfortune.' 

* Gyllenstierna ! ' cried Goertz with a friendly smile, 
leaning back that he might hear his voice above the 
rattling of the carriage. ' Then you bring me news 
from my daughter, or a message from her. You cannot 
well deliver it from your saddle ; therefore be pleased 
to hitch your horse to mine and take a seat by me in 
the carriage.' 

' I accept your invitation with thanks,' answered 
Arwed, and attaching his reins to the collar of a 
saddle-horse, he sprang into the carriage. * Have the 
goodness,' said he, * to change the direction of your 
journey immediately, and on the way I will tell you 
the cause.' 

'What are you dreaming of? ' asked Goertz with 
an angry brow. 

* There comes a whole troop of dragoons to meet us,' 
cried the coachman, ' and they are pressing forward 
under whip and spur.' Arwed examined them atten- 
tively for a moment. ' My God, I have come too late 1 ' 
stammered he, recognizing the gray coat of colonel 
Baumgardt advancing at their head, 

' Are you in your right mind, young man, or rather 
are you not some other than the person you pretend to. 
be ? ' asked Goertz yet more angrily, drawing a pistol 
from the pocket of the carriage. 

' For God's sake ! ' entreated Arwed, grasping his 
hand, ' reserve your weapons for your enemies, who 


are coming to meet us. By you sits your friend, who 
is ready to die in your defence. Turn back instantly, 
perhaps we may yet avoid them.' 

As Goertz sharply examined his countenance his 
features relaxed into a milder expression at the perusal 
of his honest face. ' I have no longer an ill opinion of 
you,' said he smilingly. ' It is my impression, how- 
ever, that you desire to increase your importance w^ith 
me a little by pressing upon me your protection against 
a pretended danger ; and I can pardon something on 
account of your youth and the motive by which you 
are impelled. Another time, however, you must find 
some more probable pretence. That the horsemen 
who are approaching us are no robbers,, but honest 
Swedish dragoons, a child may see ; and, if I mistake 
not, that is colonel Baumgardt, whom I well know, 
riding at their head.' 

In a moment the troops had reached the carriage. 

' Good evening, your excellency ! ' cried Baumgardt,, 
wheeling about his horse and raising his hat. Three 
other officers, who followed him, likewise wheeled 
about and remained, courteously greeting the baron, 
before and on both sides of the carriage, while the 
dragoons trotted past and closed up behind it. 

' Good evening, colonel ! ' answered Goertz serenely. 
• Whither so late ? ' 

' To meet your excellency,' said the colonel politely. 
' We lost our way in the driving snow, and have been 
riding about in a state of perplexity for two days. We 
bring with us important news from the camp.' 


* Whatever it may be,' answered Goertz, ' I bring 
you from Aland yet better and more important. But 
it can all be more conveniently told in a warm room 
with a bottle of old wine. I shall stop for the night 
at the parsonage of Tanum, and bear with me a good 
bottle case* Will the gentlemen be my guests ? We 
will pass a pleasant evening together, and in the 
morning I will proceed to Frederickshall under your 

' It will be an honor to myself and officers,' said the 
colonel. The other officers bowed silently, and the 
carriage rolled rapidly onward, surrounded by its armed 
escort, towards the solitary parsonage which, an olcj 
dark^gray mass of stone, with tall dark fir trees rustling 
about it, offered no very tempting shelter even in that 
desert region. 

The travellers alighted, and the minister entered 
one of the lower rooms of the house. Arwed followed 
him, prepared for the tragic scene which was approach- 
ing. With impetuous haste, that their victim might 
not escape them, the officers pressed in after him, 
and the last one closed the door. 

* What means this ? ' asked Goertz^ rising, as he 
remarked it. 

The colonel then replaced his hat upon his head and 
drew his sword, exclaiming in the roughest military 
tone, ^ in the name of the king, Goertz, I demand 
of you the surrender of your sword ! ' 

With surprise and astonishment Goertz started back, 
At first, unable to speak, he looked around upon the 


officers who surrounded him with drawn swords and 
insultingly triumphant glances. 

This unknightly conduct excited Arwed ; his blood 
boiled, and forgetful of the mischief that a powerless 
opposition must cause, he fixed upon Goertz his eager, 
enquiring eyes, in which the question was plainly asked 
if he should draw the sword, whose hilt he firmly 
grasped, for the deliverance of his friend. But, as 
with dignified earnestness the minister motioned him 
to desist from his intention, he withdrew his hand, 
and leaned against a window in silent despair at 
witnessing the perpetration of a wrong which he had 
not power to prevent. 

' In the name of the king ? ' asked Goertz, after a 
long pause, unbuckling his sword : ' that word is a 
falsehood ! From Charles I might expect any thing 
rather than the offering up of his truest friend. This 
destiny is not decreed by him ! Nevertheless I see that 
I must yield to necessity. Take my sword ! I have 
long expected something of the kind. It is the reward 
for all the service I have rendered to the crown of 
Sweden ! ' 

* The right reward yet awaits you at Stockholm ! ' 
said colonel Baumgardt with bitterness. Then turned 
he to Arwed and roughly asked him, * how came you 
here, captain Gyllenstierna ! ' 

' From Stockholm,' answered the latter : ' whither 
I accompanied colonel Brenner as a courier, and am 
upon my return to the camp.' 

' And you have deserted your superior officer ? ^ 


asked Baumgardt in reply : ' and we find you in the 
carriage with Goertz. That is suspicious ! ' 

* It was but a moment before you met us,' hastily 
interposed Goertz, ' that the captain first overtook me, 
bringing me a message from my daughter. His horse 
now stands without, tied to mine.' 

Baumgardt walked to the window, as if to ascertain 
the truth of the assertion. 

' If you, however, 3^et think the affair suspicious, 
colonel,' cried Arwed, vehemently, ' I propose to you 
to take me as a prisoner, together with the minister, 
to Stockholm. Then will you at least be secured 
against the imputation of having acted with too great 

' That would be perhaps very agreeable to you,' 
answered Baumgardt, scornfully. * But I am not ac- 
customed to receive directions from subalterns, and 
prudence requires that I should pursue a course directly 
opposite to that proposed by a suspected person. It is 
desirable rather, to ensure your safe return to the 
camp. Myself, with lieutenant colonel Bioernskioeld 
will accompany you there. Adjutant general Rosen- 
hahn and lieutenant Loewen with their followers will 
proceed to Stockholm with the prisoner, and thus each 
one of us will be in his right place.' 

Arwed gnashed his teeth at this injurious treatment, 
but the iron chain of subordination held the young 
lion fast bound, and he remained silent. 

'Forward, Herr von Goertz,' cried the adjutant 
general, pointing towards the door. 


'Farewell, my son ! ' cried Goertz, embracing Arwed 
affectionately, And, while embracing, whispered to 
him, ' I now understand your true intentions and your 
real friendship for me. Be certain that you shall be 
satisfied with my gratitude if my enemies leave me the 
power of proving it.' 

He went forth and stepped into his carriage, upon 
the box of which one of the dragoons was seated, and 
which was now employed to convey its former owner 
to a dungeon. Rosenhahn seated himself by the 
minister's side. The other officers, together with 
Arwed, threw themselves upon their horses. — Lieu- 
tenant Loewen made a sign to his dragoons, who sur- 
rounded the carriage with their swords drawn, and the 
prisoner, with his escort, galloped quickly towards the 
south, whilst Arwed, with his unwelcome companions,, 
rode sadly towards the north. 


Deserted and empty stood the camp before Freder- 
ickshall, as Arwed and the two other ojfficers rode into 
it. Baggage-men and other camp followers swarmed 
about the barracks, searching for whatever their late 
inhabitants might have left behind them w^orth the 
finding. The flag of Denmark waved from the Golden 
Lion, and some companies in the Danish hunting dress 
were leveling the Swedish embankments and closing 
up the trenches which it had cost so much time and 
trouble to open. 

* What is that ? ' cried Arwed with surprise and 
displeasure. ' Has our army been beaten, that they 
have raised the siege whose successful termination was 
so near ? ' 

' I had expected it,' answered lieutenant Bioeri\^- 
kioeld with a lowering countenance : * but not so soon. 
The army has marched back to Sweden.' 

' How have the times changed ! ' said Arwed sor- 
rowfully. ' Ninety years ago, the dead Gustavus 
Adolphus inspired his army and urged it to continual 
contests and glorious victories, — and now it seems 


that old Swedish courage and the heroic spirit of her 
king have flown together, and that the laurels gained 
under his guidance are yielded in shameful flight.' 

' I hope, captain,' said Baumgardt, scornfully, * that 
you do not presume to deride the commands of the 
fieldmarshal. Presumptuous censure of a commander, 
is in the army called mutiny, and according to our 
articles of war the punishment therefor is death.' 

* You are now on duty, colonel,' said Arwed, with 
difficulty suppressing his anger. ' I shall therefore 
hold myself prepared to answer your reproach on a 
more suitable occasion.' 

Some Danish rifle balls from the trenches at this 
moment whistling about their heads, broke off* the 
conversation. The horsemen silently hastened out of 
the precincts of the deserted camp, and trotted briskly 
towards the east, after the retreating army. 


They found the army near the city of Amal, upon 
lake Dalboe, beyond the borders of Norway. Baum- 
gardt rode with his companions directly towards Amal, 
where the head quarters were established. At the 
gates they encountered colonel Brenner. 

' Is it here we again meet, my dear traveling 
companion ? ' cried he to Arwed. ' I am sorry for it.' 

' The soldier is indeed but a mere machine,' an- 
swered Arwed, ' who may not venture to love or 
regret any thing ; yet is our present meeting of some 
importance to me, as I need your evidence to clear 
myself in the eyes of colonel Baumgardt. He is dis- 
posed to consider me a marauder or something worse, 
because he encountered me traveling without you on 
the road towards FrederickshalL' 

' I gave the captain a furlough,' said Brenner to 
Baumgardt; ^ and the fieldmarshal is already informed 
of it.' Baumgardt bowed in silence. 

' Is there now any further hindrance to my taking 
leave of you ? ' said Arwed politely to the colonel. ' As 
isoon fis I am relieved from my present situation I 


will not fail to wait upon you for some further explana- 

Baumgardt rode onward without deigning a word 
in reply. 

' Come directly with me to my old friend Duecker,' 
said Brenner to Arwed. ' He arrived at head quarters, 
as I hear, early this morning, and I have come into 
the city on purpose to seek him. You must give to 
him and me an account of what has happened during 
your journey.' 

When they arrived at Duecker's quarters they found 
he was not at home. Sw^edenborg was sitting in the 
room, in his traveling cloak, awaiting his return ; and 
so busily studying some leaves of parchment full of 
signs and figures, that he did not observe the entrance 
of the new comers. 

' God greet you, Swedenborg ! ' said Arwed with 
sad cordiality, extending his hand. 

Sw^edenborg stared steadily at him for a long time, 
his eye indicating his entire absence of mind. Finally, 
a remembrance of Arwed's face seemed to return to 
him — he finished the notes he was making upon his 
parchments, put them aside, and then for the first 
time seized the proffered hand. 

' Thereto art thou chosen, young man,' cried he 
pathetically with his hollow spirit-voice : * always to 
be present when the weightiest events are occurring 
in the army, without being able to do any thing for 
the common good. At this moment is to be decided 
who is to rule over Sweden, and you can neither aid 


nor prevent, as it happened to you at the death of the 

' Is this a question yet to be decided ? ' asked Bren- 
ner. ' I think there is no longer any doubt that Ulrika 
will be queen.' 

' That is not so certain as you may think,' answer- 
ed Swedenborg. ' The princess has indeed received 
the premature homage of the senate, and lavished 
rewards upon the generals ; but the army has a voice 
in this business, and the superior right of the young 
duke is as clear as the sun. According to the 
Nordkioping compact of inheritance, no woman can 
become heir to the throne unless she be either unmar- 
ried, or married with the consent of the states to a 
Lutheran prince. But Ulrika has, without the consent 
of the states, married the prince of Hesse, who pro- 
fesses the Calvinistic faith.' 

' Ulrika will nevertheless purchase the crown by 
surrendering a portion of its sovereignty,' retorted 
Brenner ; ' and at this price they will let her off.' 

' Hardly, if the young duke bids the same,' answered 
Swedenborg. ' General Duecker is even now with 
him for the purpose of prompting him to it. May God 
give efficacy to his words, for Sweden will have a bad 
government under this Ulrika.' 

At this moment old Duecker entered with furious 
haste, threw his plumed hat angrily upon the floor, 
and paced rapidly up and down the room without per- 
ceiving the officers. 


' Nothing accomplished ? ' asked Swedenborg de- 

* What can be accomplished/ indignantly replied 
the general, * when one has to do with a boy who is 
governed by fools ? He relies confidently upon the 
strength of his party. He will inherit the royal power 
wholly unimpaired or not at all. And it is most cer- 
tain that with his confidence and indolence he will be 
compelled to accept the latter alternative.' 

' The last efibrt vain ! ' said Swedenborg, taking 
his hat. * God preserve your excellency ! I am 

' Will you also desert me, my dear ally V asked 
Duecker despairingl3\ 

* How can I be further useful in this place ? ' said 
Swedenborg. * The siege is raised ; my knowledge 
can never more be needed here. I go again to the 
examination of the mines. Under the present circum- 
stances this upper air will no longer exactly agree 
with me, and I must see whether that of the mines 
will not be better for my constitution.' He now turned 
to Arwed. * We shall meet again ! ' said he with a 
mysterious emphasis. 

' Who knows ! ' answered Arwed, who looked to the 
future with sad misgivings. 

' We shall meet again ! ' cried Swedenborg with 
greater emphasis. ' It is revealed to me by a dark, 
voiceless feeling which is vouchsafed to me by the 
Lord rather as a chastisement than as a mercy-gift. 


We shall meet again, and if I do not deceive myself^ 
in the heaviest hour of your life. God give you 
strength to bear it.' He strode forth. 

'Did you accomplish your object, Gyllenstierna ? ' 
Duecker now anxiously asked, 

' Had I but reached Goertz an hour earlier,' answered 
Arwed. 'I witnessed his arrest.' 

' That was the last hope ! ' cried Duecker, sorrow- 
fully. * Now is Goertz lost, as is also Sweden to the 
duke, beyond remedy ! ' 

' Hast thou hoped until now ? ' asked Brenner with 

' Of what was not his spirit capable ? ' retorted 
Duecker. 'I have just now learned to know him 
aright from a letter of his to the king. Had Goertz 
saved himself, he had sufficient influence with the 
czar to have the occupation of the throne by the duke 
made the condition of peace. We can hardly imagine 
what he could not have accomplished. He Avas the 
man for Charles's gigantic plans ; he was the man to 
save the tottering kingdom. Now will the sick in 
their paroxysms call upon the physician for cure, and 
who will help them ? ' 

* Your fears carry you too far, general,' said Arwed. 
' The enemies of Goertz may not be so embittered but 
that his life may be respected, if only from a holy fear 
of the manes of their fallen king.' 

' You are too young to understand your nation 
thoroughly,' retorted Duecker. ' The proud senators 
will never forgive the foreigner for annihilating the 


last remains of their power by his bold measures ; the 
people, who never dared to impeach their adored 
king, sought in Goertz the source of his misfortunes. 
Ulrika hates him, as she hates her nephew, — she 
fears his activity in the cause of the latter, and she 
can make an agreeable sacrifice to their prejudices by 
offering him up. He is a dead man ! * 

' Then must you assist in procuring my immediate 
discharge from the service, dear general,' said Arwed 

'Wherefore? — What has entered your head?' 
asked Duecker. ' You choose an unsuitable time. A 
great number of promotions will be immediately made, 
to win the army ; your father is a strong supporter of 
the queen, and you may perhaps leap the rank of major 
and obtain a regiment.' 

* I fear on the contrary,' answered Arwed gloomily, 
^ that I can no longer honorably remain a Swedish 
officer. But that is the least. A being, dearer to me 
than all others, can now hope for help and consolation 
from me alone. I must instantly proceed to Stockholm, 
even should I be compelled to desert from the army 
for that purpose.' 

' There is yet no necessity for that,' said Duecker. 
' The guards break up to-day for Stockholm, and will 
proceed there in advance of the remainder of the 
forces. Therefore do nothing precipitately. If your 
wish for a discharge should continue, I will endeavor to 
obtain its accomplishment at a proper time. Such a 
request, just at this time, would only render you 


suspected and hated, and would probably be unsuc- 

' That is the voice of a father,' said Arwed feelingly. 
' You best know what is the most proper course for 
me, and I willingly hearken to you.' 

At that moment the field music was heard in the 
distance sounding a wild alarm, and the thunder of 
the artillery through the city accompanied the peal 
like a powerful bass. 

■ What is that ? ' asked Brenner with surprise, 

' The prince has operated suddenly and power* 
fully,' answered Duecker ; ' more suddenly and ener-? 
getically to obtain Sweden's crown for his wife, than 
to obtain a victory over Sweden's enemies. The 
army is won, and Ulrika is queen. That is what the 
thunder of the cannon denotes.' 


The guards had marched into Stockholm. Arwed 
had performed all the duties of his service, and now 
flew towards the Blasiusholm to the house of the 
post-captain who had freely received and sheltered the 
deserted daughters of the unhappy Goertz. The 
moment he mentioned his name he was shown into 
Georgina's room. With a pale face and wasted frame 
she came forward to meet him. Ardently would he 
have folded her in his arms, but she held back and 
merely presented to him her thin white hand, whose 
icy coldness filled him with alarm. 

' Thou hast not saved my father ? ' asked she with 
a trembling voice. 

* By my honor I ' cried Arwed, grieved at the silent 
reproach conveyed by the question ; ' I did every thing 
in my power, but hard fate was stronger than my 
honest endeavors.' 

' I must believe it,' answered Georgina, ' and thank 
you for your good intentions. If you are yet willing 
to make further eiforts in my behalf, procure for me 
through your influence an interview with my father. 


They have hitherto rejected all my petitions with in- 
human severity.' 

' Whatever lies in my power I will essay for the 
accomplishment of your wish,' replied Arwed with 
much agitation. 

' Leave me then for the present,' said Georgina. 
* Go and make the effort and bring me word that they 
will extend towards my father a privilege which even 
robbers and murderers would not be denied.' 

' Do you drive me from you so soon, Georgina ? ' 
asked Arwed mournfully. ' Is this the welcome of a 
beloved and loving betrothed ? ' 

' Betrothed ? ' sighed Georgina with a melancholy 
smile. 'Ah, dear Arwed! that is a subject upon 
which we must speak no more. The daughter of the 
man whom Sweden accuses of high treason, can never 
give her hand in marriage to a Swede.' 

' Thinkest thou so meanly of me ? ' cried Arwed, 
with great earnestness. ' But no, you do not really 
think so. You only pretend indignation to conceal 
your want of affection. From the youth whom you 
once deemed worthy of your love, you must at least 
expect that your present misfortunes will bind him to 
you with still stronger chains.' 

A faint blush flitted over Georgina's pale cheeks, 
and her eyes glistened. She hastily approached Arwed 
and laid her hand upon his breast. * I know,' said 
she proudly, * that whatever love and honor may 
demand of a Gyllenstierna, you will obey their voice 
in every circumstance of life. But a noble German 


maiden dares not forget what concerns her own honor, 
— and this commands me to refuse you my hand so 
long as your own countrymen can with propriety pro- 
nounce your union with me a misalliance.' 

* You no longer love me ! ' complained Arwed. 

Georgina gave him a glance in which shone all the 
glow of her first love, and, unconsciously, her eyes 
filled with tears. At last the all-powerful passion 
conquered. She threw her arms about his neck and 
pressed him to her bosom. ' Go, and strive ! ' sobbed 
she, retreating into a side cabinet. 

Arwed wished to follow her, but hearing her draw 
the bolt on the inner side, he departed, bitterly afflicted 
with a confused throng of contending feelings. 


While the new royal counsellor, Nils count Gyl* 
lenstierna was sitting, as two months before, employ- 
ed at his writing table, Arwed timidly entered the 

' Aha ! ' said he satirically, * the brave captain has 
at last the goodness, after my repeated requests, to 
grant me an interview. I beg you will take a seat 
upon the sofa, and I Avill be at your service directly.' 

Arwed, however, remained standing with a sad and 
resigned countenance, as he had determined to submit 
patiently to the censures of his passionate father, 
whose political ambition had now attained its utmost 

The old counsellor continued writing for a short 
time, and then, signing his name with an energetic 
stroke of the pen, he arose, and stepped immediately 
in front of his son, with folded arms and an angry 

' Where shall I begin with my reproaches ! ' blus- 
tered he at ^length. * You have committed so many 
excesses in so short a time, that it is difficult for me 


to select, and I can only fix my mind upon the result 
— that you are a ruined, yes, in the strictest sense, a 
lost son^ with whom I am destined to have much 
trouble and sorrow.' 

' That I went to the king's army against your will 
,....?' commenced Arwed, pleadingly. 

* That is the least ! ' proceeded the father, interrupt- 
ing him. ' You have proceeded so far in your evil 
way, that even so shameless an act of disobedience 
has become a mere trifle, unworthy of consideration 
in comparison with your ulterior conduct. Besides, 
you may find some excuse for that act, in what has 
recently happened. According to despatches this day 
received, Armfelt's corps has been miserably frozen 
up in the ice mountains on its retreat towards Jemt- 
land, and although you have caused me much sorrow, 
I am yet glad that your obstinacy has this time saved 
you from an inglorious death.' 

^ Thanks to thee, true warner,' said Arwed trem- 
blingly to himself ; — then addressing his father : ' if 
that be not the cause of your anger, may I beg of you 
to name my other transgressions. From your justice 
I have a right to hope that I shall be allowed to 
exculpate myself,' 

' Bold and insolent as usual ! ' grumbled the old 
man. * Quasi re bene gesta comes he before me, while 
he thinks I am not acquainted with his conduct. 
Who joined himself to the deputation which endeav- 
ored to have the duke of Holstein proclaimed in the 
camp as king of Sweden ? AVho obtruded himself as 


a companion upon colonel Brenner, that he might 
insult the queen and warn Goertz of his well-deserved 
fate ? Who threatened colonel Baumgardt with a 
challenge for doing his duty ? Who has been this 
very day to visit the daughter of the arch-traitor, for 
whom the scaffold is already preparing ? ^ 

^ You are very accurately informed, my father,' 
answered Arwed. ' I am too proud to deny what I 
have done, nor do I believe it deserves 3'our anger. 
The king, when he appointed me a captain in the 
royal service, thereby rendered me independent of 
parental authority, and thenceforth free to follow the 
dictates of my own judgment. You yourself must 
concede, that the right was doubtful between the 
princess and the duke. I, however, am firmly con- 
vinced that it is entirely on the side of the latter, and 
have acted accordingly. I wished to save Goertz, 
because I believed him innocent. His crime is, that 
the king, so little in the habit of receiving advice from 
others, honored him with his exclusive confidence ; 
that he is a foreigner, and the capable and dreaded 
servant of a young prince who is a candidate for a 
crown which you think he ought not to have.' 

' You believe all this, because you love his daugh- 
ter I ' remarked the father. 

' Colonel Baumgardt,' proceeded Arwed, ' has 
injured me personally, and we shall settle that matter 
as is usual among men of honor, as soon as my cares 
for Georgina may leave me time.' 

* Arwed ! ' cried the father, ' do you then really 


entertain a hope that I will give my consent to this 
foolish connection ? ' 

' Do as you think proper, my father,' answered 
Arwed. * My resolution is taken, whatever may 
betide. Nor could you yourself approve my conduct 
if, now that the storm is breaking over her innocent 
faead^ I should desert the maiden whose heart I won 
when the sun of prosperity shone brightly upon her.' 

' The queen will forbid the union,' said the old 

' And were it the bold Margaret herself,' cried 
Arwed with passionate warmth, ' who united upon 
her own head the three northern crowns, and held them 
there with a strong hand, she would not dare attempt 
to regulate the impulses of our hearts ! How much 
less, then, this poor Ulrika, whose only crown, to 
which she has no right, was shamefully bought with 
the costliest jewel of royalty, the sovereignty.' 

' You are deep in constitutional principles,' said the 
counsellor peevishly — but his strong displeasure was 
already melted into secret satisfaction with the talent 
and spirit of his son. He appeared, standing there . 
before him with his flashing blue eyes, his scarred 
cheek and noble bearing, as if he were about to plant 
again the Swedish standard upon a stormed wall. 
' Upon honor ! ' at length exclaimed the old man, ' if 
you had not conducted yourself so bravely before 
Frederickshall^ I would reckon with you in another 
fashion. But the deed of arms which Charles the 
Xllth rewarded with an embrace, must be considered 


as truly heroic — and to a hero much must be forgiven. 
To that, we Swedes have long been accustomed.' 

' Nor was that embrace the best of the king's favors,' 
said Arwed eagerly. ' For beating back a sally of 
the Danes, I had his word for my marriage with 
Georgina. And surely you would not have resisted 
the request of Charles.' 

' Yes,' answered his father, turning away from 
him ; ' and now all that has been changed forever by 
one bullet ! I pity you, poor youth, but your case 
cannot be helped ! ' 

' I do not yet give up every hope,' said Arwed. 
' They dare not murder Goertz without a trial, and if 
they will but give him a fair one he must be acquitted.' 
' Do you think so ? ' murmured the old man ; ' so 
do not we think here in Stockholm, and all Sweden 
cries out guilty against him.' 

' The voice of the people is not always the voice of 
God,' said Arwed. * I still trust in holy justice. But 
I have a favor to ask of you, my father. The baron's 
daughter wishes to see her father. Give me the 
necessary permission.' 

' That is not to be thought of for the present,' 
answered the father. ' Perhaps it may be obtained a 
little later, after the sentence has been pronounced. 
Besides I am not the person who has power to grant 
it. Upon such a request the president of the special 
commission, landmarshal Ribbing, must decide.' 
' Alas, that heart of stone ! ' cried Arwed. ' Give 


me at least a letter of introduction to him, that he 
may do from favor what is only a duty.' 

' I can have nothing to do with the affair,' said the 
father angrily. ' You presume upon my forbearance.' 

He pointed towards the door. Arwed wished to 
speak to him yet once again, but the counsellor, turn- 
ing his back upon him, walked to his writing-table — 
and the son in sadness departed. 


Every effort to move, to win, to alarm, which the 
eloquence of the soul could inspire, had Arwed lav- 
ished upon landmarshal Ribbing. But powerless as 
the waves against the rocks, were his words with the 
immovable man; and, with anger at the refusal 
rankling at his heart, the young man now stood in the 
high arched basement story of the council house upon 
the Suedermalm, where Goertz was held in confine- 
ment, seeking, with his open purse in his hand, and 
not without secret reluctance, to try the effect of gross 
corruption upon the gaoler. 

But the gaoler shook his head suspiciously. ' God 
knows,' said he, clinking the keys attached to his 
waist-belt, ' God knows how willingly I would take 
your gold. But one must have discretion, captain, and 
use the little judgment God has given him. Your 
purse would be very useful to me, but my head is still 
more so, and it is that which I should peril. Therefore 
have the goodness to retire, that I may not suffer 
inconvenience from being seen talking to you here.' 
With this he opened a little wicket by the side of the 


great gate, and pointing the way out, made at the 
same time a very low bow. 

Arwed angrily complied with the hard necessity, 
and, as he now considered the rejected purse as 
unworthy of being returned to his pocket, he threw 
it to an invalid soldier who limped past him on his 
crutches, and was on the point of hastening away. 

' Take me with you, count Gyllenstierna ! ' cried a 
low, melodious voice, behind him. He turned around, 
and saw a man of about forty years of age, with an 
intelligent, bold and honest face, in a clerical dress, 
who had followed him out of the house. 

' Do you know me, reverend sir ? ' asked Arwed 
with surprise. 

' Only from the conversations of the unfortunate 
man to whom you just now wished to purchase admis- 
sion,' answered the clergyman, proceeding with him 
towards the city. ' But your whole manner and bear- 
ing told me that you must be captain Gyllenstierna, 
and there is no one to whom I could better appeal than 
you. I am preacher to the German community in this 
place. Baron von Goertz has requested my spiritual 
assistance, which I have truly rendered to him with 
both joy and sorrow. But the undeserved fate of my 
unhappy countryman has so affected me that I am 
determined to do something more for him. His inL- 
mortal soul is well prepared by a blameless life, and 
by a true and genuine faith which I have perceived in 
him. I would also gladly save his mortal body, that 
the intelligent and well disposed man may be enabled 


yet further to labor for the benefit of this country, or 
for some other, if Sweden is unwise enough to repu- 
diate him.' 

' Worthy servant of God ! ' exclaimed Arwed, with 
a sudden pressure of his hand. 

' First of all,- proceeded the preacher, ^ I will make 
an effort with the queen. I have been to the palace 
three times already. Her majesty, however, was 
never to be spoken with, which I attribute to the 
numerous enemies which Goertz has made amongst 
the courtiers.' 

' You might as well attribute it to the ill will of the 
queen herself,' said Arwed. 

' So much the better ! ' cried the preacher. ' That 
would be a good sign for me. Then does she shun 
the truth, which she would hear from me ; and if I 
can only succeed in obtaining an audience, I augur 
the happiest consequences. You are well acquainted 
at the palace, count. Procure me an audience of the 
queen, and the rest shall be my care. She is, at any 
rate, a woman, and must have a compassionate heart.' 

' You have chosen a bad protector, sir pastor,' said 
Arwed, with a sad smile. ' But I will procure for you 
an audience with the queen, if I have to open a path 
to her with my sword.' 

While they were thus conversing they had passed 
the bridge connecting the Suedermalm with the city, 
the streets of which they threaded until they approach* 
ed the Eitterholm. 


' Announce us to the queen,' begged Arwed of the 
valet-de-chambre whom they found before the door of 
the queen's apartments, slipping some pieces of gold 
into his hands. ^ The count Gyllenstierna and pastor 
Conradi beg that she will graciously grant them a 
short audience upon a most pressing concern.' 

' I will do my best,' said the valet-de-chambre in the 
most friendly manner, going in. 

After a short time he returned. ' It was all suc- 
ceeding well,' said he, ' but the name of the black 
coat spoiled all. By that was the attention of her 
majesty arrested, and she then asked whether it was 
the younger or elder Gyllenstierna who had requested 
to be announced. She cannot see you now, and the 
gentlemen may hand in their request in writing, by 
the chamberlain in waiting.' 

' Perdition ! ' cried Arwed, indignant at his own 

' This amounts to a refusal,' stammered Conradi. 
' When the great of the earth demand that a petitioner 
shall put the all-powerful words of his mouth into cold, 
dead characters upon paper, and hamper the strength 
of his good cause by a submission to prescribed 
formulas, it is because they are determined not to 
grant his request, and wish to avoid pronouncing with 
their lips the refusal of which in their hearts they are 
ashamed.' Meanwhile it had become night, and the 
servants lighted the lamps in the ante-chamber. 

A high officer entered the ante-room for the purpose 
of passing through it into the audience chamber. 


' Who is this gentleman ? * whispered Conradi to 
the valet-de-chambre. 

' Lieutenant general Rank,' answered the latter. 

* Goertz has named him to me as his last friend,' 
said Conradi to Arwed ; * perhaps he can do something 
for us.' 

' Have the goodness to grant us a word, general,' 
said Arwed hastily to him. — He turned and approached 

' We are here,' said Arwed in a moving tone, ' to 
present a petition in favor of baron Goertz. The 
queen has refused us an audience. You are going 
directly to her majesty, and therefore we beg of you 
to endeavor, if possible, to obtain for us a hearing. 
We are indeed unknown to you, but your own heart 
will be our advocate.' 

' To whom is the brave Gyllenstierna unknown,' 
said Rank in the kindest manner ; ' neither is this 
worthy pastor a stranger to me. What little influence 
I may have, I will willingly exert for you ; but I know 
the queen, and doubt a favorable result.' 

He w^ent in. The two confederates stood waiting 
in the ante-room until he returned. ' The queen,' 
said he, ' will pass through here when she repairs to 
the grand hall, and will hear you as she passes. 
Speak submissively and briefly, and may God guide 
your tongues.' 

The folding doors flew open. Two bedizened pages 
lighted the way with torches. Between two richly 


embroidered and highly scented chamberlains, rustled 
forth the proud Ulrika, oppressed by a heavy silken 
and gold-embroidered hoop petticoat, with clouds of 
lace about her bosom, and her arms, hands, breast and 
ears overloaded with jewels, and above her high, 
frizzed curls glistened the little crown of brilliants. 
Pages bore her long train, and her maids of honor 
followed. The queen looked displeasedly towards the 
unwelcome petitioners. Conradi approached, fell 
upon one knee, pressed the hem of her robe to his 
lips, and then with a soft and winning dignity of 
manner said, ' I beg a hearing of your majesty upon 
a question of mercy.' 

' Stand up and speak,' answered Ulrika, stopping, 
and causing her train of attendants to halt. 

' Your majesty,' said Conradi, without changing his 
position, ' has inherited the crown of Sweden from 
your deceased royal brother . . . .' 

' Inherited ! quite right ! ' interposed Ulrika quickly : 
' and it is unaccountable to us,' she proceeded, looking 
at her companions, ' that doubt upon that subject can 
yet be entertained in any quarter.' 

^ It is not to be doubted,' said the pastor, astonished 
at this unexpected episode, ' that your majesty heartily 
honors the memory of our late glorious king, as you 
w^ere so nearly connected with him by the ties of 
blood. Nevertheless, his truest servant, the man upon 
whom he bestowed unlimited confidence, now lan- 
guishes in undeserved chains. A criminal court is 


now sitting upon him, and all, who are convinced of 
his innocence, shudder at the possibility that Sweden 
may be guilty of shedding that noble blood.' 

' The number of them will not be great,' said Ulrika, 
coolly. ' Have you any thing further to say to us ? ' 

' I beg of your majesty mercy for unhappy Goertz,' 
said Conradi with increasing warmth. * I appeal to 
the softer feelings of your sex, to the magnanimity of 
the princess, to the forgiving spirit of the christian. 
By the God in whom we all believe, Goertz is innocent. 
And if he has done any thing wrong, and so brought 
any misfortune upon Sweden, which I do not know, 
he has but acted in obedience to his lord, like a true 
vassal, and that lord was entitled to the unreserved 
obedience of all, whilst he reigned over this land as 
an absolute sovereign.' 

* Sweden will have cause to remember that unlimit- 
ed sovereignty for some generations,' remarked Ulrika, 
glancing at the splendid watch hanging at her girdle. 
* Please to come to an end.' 

' I have nothing more to add,' said the preacher 
dejectedly, * except to implore your majesty to signalize 
the commencement of your reign by an act of mercy, 
rather than by the shedding of blood.' 

' Mercy for Goertz ! ' cried Arwed, throwing himself 
at the queen's feet, and pressing her once scorned hand 
passionately to his lips. 

Ulrika, surprised by the sudden movement, withdrew 
her hand with a look of pride and scorn, and motioned 


him to rise. Without deigning to answer him, she 
turned again to the still kneeling preacher. * My good 
man,' said she, with cold friendliness, ' I would wil- 
lingly forgive the baron for all the evil he has done to 
me. The queen has no memory for injuries suffered 
by the princess. But the decision lies not with me. 
Next to God, have I from my true states received the 
crown, and without their voice I neither can nor will 
decide upon crimes against the nation, of which Goertz 
is accused.' She made a sign to her attendants, and 
moved proudly forward. 

* All in vain ! ' cried Conradi, rising. * And this 
affected mildness, beneath which the queen conceals 
her implacable hatred, is to me more frightful than if 
she had poured forth her anger in passionate words. 
Here is a coolly devised plan to destroy an innocent 
man, against which even the eloquence of the apostle 
Paul himself would fail to succeed. Let us go.' 

Sadly they turned towards the door. Fieldmarshal, 
the prince of Hesse, entering at that moment, met them. 

' Is my wife yet here ? ' asked he of lieutenant 
general Rank. * I come to lead her to the court.' 

' She has just gone,' answered Rank. * Her majesty 
was pleased to grant an audience here before she went.' 

The prince looked at both of the supplicants. * Cap- 
tain Gyllenstierna ! ' said he, playfully, * what affair 
could bring you to the ante-chamber^ which is certainly 
a ground upon which you have not yet learned to 
manoeuvre ? ' 


' So our ill-success has proved,' answered Arwed, 
with suppressed rage. ' We have been vainly pleading 
for the life of the unhappy Goertz.' 

' For Goertz's life ? ' asked the prince with an ap- 
pearance of interest. ' I can guess what prompts you 
to the effort, and pity you from the bottom of my 
heart. It is a very bad case.' 

' If your royal highness will graciously condescend 
to interest yourself, we shall have new grounds for 
hope, and all may yet end well,' said Conradi. 

' Trouble not his royal highness with your interces- 
sions, Conradi,' said Arwed bitterly. * Upon his high 
command was the baron arrested ; consequently he has 
already decided upon his guilt, and mercy here is not 
to be thought of.' 

' You deceive yourself, captain,' said the prince, 
mildly correcting the excited youth. ' I hate not the 
unfortunate man. Powerless he must become, and 
powerless he must remain, but his death would be 
contrary to my wish and my advice. If his sentence 
depended upon me, I would banish him from the 
country, and so settle all.' 

' Ah, if your royal highness will exert your influence 
in favor of a mild sentence,' cried Conradi in raptures, 
' God will be your rich rewarder.' 

' My dear pastor,' answered the prince graciously, 
* this case will probably be decided by the diet. The 
power of my wife is circumscribed, and I am only her 
first subject.' 


* Yet,' interposed Arwed, * the delightful privilege 
remains to your royal highness of alleviating the last 
hours of the unhappy man whom you cannot save. 
His daughter wishes to be permitted to speak to him. 
I wish to conduct her there, but the president of the 
special commission is inexorable.' 

* That is hard ! ' said the prince. ' A criminal is 
still a man. Go directly to Eibbing, my dear Rank, 
and say to him that it is my wish.' 

' God bless your royal highness for the deed ! ' cried 
the preacher. 

* But that no trouble may arise from this exercise of 
my kind feelings,' proceeded the prince, * I require 
your word of honor, and your knightly hand, Gyllen- 
stierna, that this permission shall in no way be abused.' 

Arwed started. The thought, how advantage might 
be taken of such a permission, now for the first time 
arose in his honest soul. 

His hand shrunk as if he would have drawn it back ; 
but the prince extended his, and Arwed finally took it. 

' Adieu,' said the prince, dismissing them in the 
most friendly manner, and the two petitioners left the 


' What is now to be done to advance the main 
object ? ' asked Conradi of the sullenly silent Arwed. 
' I think we had better send a pressing petition to 
the diet, although I should hope nothing from it. 
They will leave every thing to the special commis- 
sion, — and from the people, who are congratulating 
each other and rejoicing that they have become 
coadjutors in this business, we have nothing to expect.' 

' Have they done that ? ' asked Arwed eagerly. 

' Yes,' answered Conradi. ' Some among them have 
presumed openly to say, if Goertz does not lose his 
head this time, we shall lose ours.' 

' Miserable spirit of party ! ' cried Arwed ; ' under 
whose shield the judge may venture unpunished to 
throw his own hatred into the scale against the 

For a while they walked on silently together. All 

at once Arwed stopped. * God has given me a 

thought ! ' said he. ' The young duke arrived here 

yesterday. Goertz has never ceased to be his servant 



He was only loaned to Sweden, and the duke must 
interfere in his favor. The officer of a foreign 
sovereign cannot be judged here.' 

* It is undeniable,' said Conradi thoughtfully, * that 
the duke has the right and it is also his duty to inter- 
fere. The question is, however, has he the will? 
This prince still flatters himself that he has yet a 
chance of ascending the Swedish throne, and will not, 
therefore, be vv^illing to lessen his influence with the 

* The attempt must be made,' cried Arwed reso- 
lutely. * I will hasten to him. Have the goodness to 
send information to the baroness Goertz upon the 
Blasiusholm, that she will, as I hope, be permitted to 
visit her father ; and, God willing, we will meet in 
the morning at the Suedermalm council house.' 

They shook hands and separated. Arwed flew to 
the palace of the duke of Holstein Gottorp. He was 
immediately announced and admitted. With an irres- 
olute face, wherein hope and fear alternately prevail- 
ed, came the young prince to meet him, asking in an 
effeminate tone, ' what is your pleasure ? ' 

' One of the officers,' answered Arwed, ' who, in 
the camp before Frederickshall, was anxious to have 
your grace proclaimed king of Sweden, ventures to 
bring the name of the unhappy Goertz to your remem- 

' I do not wish to hear any thing of this man,' said 
the duke, looking timidly about him. ' My interference 
in the case might be misconstrued by the S^vedes, 


and it behoves me at this moment to avoid every thing 
which might occasion a misunderstanding.' 

' Goertz is without aid and in prison,' proceeded Ar- 
wed, with manly earnestness, ' because they fear his 
ability, his activity and his devotion to your grace. 
Through this imprisonment of your servant, your 
sovereign rights are infringed. His life is in danger. 
To save it, it is only necessary for your grace to claim 
him of the Swedish government with princely energy. 
However great the animosity against him, party rage 
cannot withstand your demand, without violating the 
law of nations. They must deliver the unhappy man 
to you, and you will have the satisfaction of gratifying 
the feelings of your heart by this exercise of your 
rightful power, and of preserving for yourself an able 

' You would have spared yourself this long exposi* 
tion, captain,' said the duke, with an unmeaning 
smile, * had you known that Goertz has ceased to be 
my servant.' 

An indignant ' ah ! ' escaped from the youth, and 
the duke proceeded. — ' A man whom the whole 
Swedish nation as with one voice accuses, could not 
remain in my service. He has been dismissed from 
the offices which he held under me. And, being 
wholly surrendered, the laws of the country which he 
has offended must decide his fate.' 

' I understand ! ' exclaimed Arwed with great ex- 
citement. — 'Your grace hopes to win the love of 
Sweden by the desertion of your truest friend, and by 


publicly offering him up to gratify her vengeance. 
But if I may venture to judge of my native country, 
this sad expedient will entirely fail. It will only 
cause you to be hated. And your ingratitude will 
again with ingratitude be rewarded.' 

Overwhelmed with despair at the wreck of this last 
hope, he rushed into the street. 


At the council house upon the Suedermalm, in the 
arched and grated room occupied by Goertz, the pale 
Georgina sat waiting, her weary head resting upon 
Arwed's shoulder. With a melancholy glance the 
youth surveyed the mean table and wooden stool 
which composed all the furniture in the dwelling- 
place of the once all-powerful prime minister. At 
length a confused noise was heard without, and from 
the midst of the crowd of soldiers by whom he was 
surrounded, the worthy Goertz entered the room. 
He was accompanied by lieutenant general Rank and 
the pastor Conradi. A clerk of the court followed, 
who remained upon the threshold with a timepiece in 
his hand, while the gaoler bolted the door behind him 
on the outside. 

Georgina rushed with a loud scream to meet her 
father, pressing his chained hand to her lips. 

' Behold, my Georgina,' said the old man encoura- 
gingly, ' a joyful moment after so many sad days ! 
God disposes all things for the best. But you must 
not weep, my daughter. Your tears move me pow- 


erfully, and I have need of repose. I am harassed in 
mind as well as in body. Standing up through a six 
hours' examination has much weakened me.' 

• How ! ' asked Arwed indignantly, ' did they not 
allow you to be seated ? ' 

' I requested it,' answered Goertz, sinking down 
upon his wooden stool, ' but the lords were of opinion 
that they could not allow a man like me to sit in their 
presence. The words were yet harder than the refusal 
itself. But let that pass. What is your sister about, 
Georgina ? She is well ? Why did you not bring 
her with you ? ' 

' The permission was only allowed to myself and 
Arwed,' said Georgina. ^ They would not allow the 
child to come in, and I was compelled to send her 
back from the door.' 

• They are very strict with me in every respect,' 
said Goertz, ' whilst they permit themselves every 
latitude to my disadvantage. This day's examination 
furnishes sufficient proof of this.' 

' I must hope, my old friend,* said Rank much 
moved, ' that the commission will allow you every 
legal and proper indulgence.' 

' A copy of the accusation has never once been laid 
before me,' answered Goertz. ' I begged that my 
process might not be overhastened. I begged also 
for permission to make a written defence. Both were 
denied me. I begged to be allowed the assistance of 
professional counsel. This legal aid also, which 
every murderer enjoys, was withheld from me.' 


' Unheard of ! ' cried Rank indignantly. ' The 
queen cannot refuse these requests consistently with 
her own honor. I will speak to her about it.' 

* My good Rank/ said Goertz, extending his hand 
to him with a smile of gratitude, ' put not yourself 
to any inconvenience on my account. I am not to be 
saved. When the blood of my king flowed, the same 
moment was my sentence pronounced. Sweden 
thirsts for my blood, and it must be drunken. This 
conviction has its benefits. It raises me above delu- 
sive hopes, and confers upon me the quiet repose of 

' My dear father ! ' sobbed Georgina, w^ho had sunk 
down before him, with her head resting upon his 

' My good child ! ' said Goertz, lifting up her face 
and looking at her with an expression of unutterable 
tenderness. * Thou hast thy mother's eyes,' added he, 
laying his hand softly upon her cheek. ' I must take 
a long look that every lineament may remain in my 
memory. For this enjoyment may never again be 
allowed to me.' 

' This is the only interview which I could prevail 
upon the inexorable Ribbing to grant,' said Rank 
sadly. ' They will not, however, refuse you a farewell 
conversation with your daughters after the trial.' 

Goertz kissed the tears from his daughter's eyes. 
But his parental feelings became too strong for him. 
' Leave me ! ' said he springing up : * this trial is too 
great for me ! ' and he walked up and down the room 
with hasty strides. 


' One satisfaction,' resumed he suddenly, as if wish- 
ing to divert his thoughts to other objects by the 
observation : ' one satisfaction have I yet had in those 
hours when every one seemed to aim at my utter 
prostration. Fehmann, my accuser, read, as a proof 
that I had calumniated his subjects to the king, a letter, 
in which I had complained to Charles of the neglect 
of his duty by a governor of a province, and recom- 
mended his dismission. When he had read thus far 
he laid the letter aside. I requested that the remain- 
der might be read; the commission decided in my 
favor, and Fehmann was now compelled to read a 
description of himself as an able and faithful man 
whom I recommended to the king for the place.' 

' And did not the wretch throw himself at your feet 
overwhelmed ^viih shame and contrition ? ' cried Arwed 
in a rage. 

' My good captain,' answered Goertz, ^ the minds 
of the people who pursue me are so perfectly settled, 
that they are incapable of such emotions.' 

* Can I then do nothing, nothing at all, for you ? ' 
sobbed Georgina. ' I will go with Magdalena to all 
your judges, clasp their knees and entreat for mercy ; 
the prayers and tears of innocent children, whom they 
are about to make orphans, will, perhaps, move their 
flinty hearts.' 

' I forbid your doing that ! ' answered Goertz with 
decision. * What you could ask for me has already 
been attempted by true friends, and attempted in vain.' 

At this moment the court scribe held out the watch 
in his hand, and cried, ' the time has expired ! ' 


* My God ! the time has expired ! ' shrieked Geor- 
gina : * and I had so many things to say, and so many 
questions to ask you, my father, but your sufferings 
have put them all out of my head. Have you nothing 
to charge me with 1 ' 

' The crown of Sweden,' answered Goertz with a 
melancholy smile, ' has relieved me of the care of my 
earthly possessions. My palace is plundered, my 
funds and papers are all seized, and will probably be 
confiscated for the benefit of the royal treasury. What 
it may be necessary for you to know, in relation to 
these affairs you will find in my testament, which I 
hope to be able to finish in the course of the next few 

' And have you nothing else to say 1 ' cried she, 
weeping upon his neck. 

' We shall meet once more before my last hour,' 
answered Goertz with a failing voice. ' Leave me 
now, my dear daughter.' 

He gently disengaged himself from her arms and 
walked to the grated window, concealing his face in 
his handkerchief. 

' Father ! ' shrieked Georgina with desperation, and, 
springing after him, again clasped him in her arms. 

' Keally, two minutes have already elapsed beyond 
the time, your excellency,' said the clerk importunately, 
holding up his watch to lieutenant general Rank. ' I 
shall be made answerable for any further delay.' 

' Take her hence ! ' cried Goertz, placing Georgina 
in Arwed's arms. ' Obey, my daughter ! ' — and Arwed 
bore the fainting sufferer out. 


The diet of Sweden had assembled at the capital. 
To the house of assembly hastened the Swedish lords, 
counts and barons, the knights, the lower nobility, 
and the good men of the kingdom, to deliberate upon 
her welfare in the 'pleno plenorum, Arived rode 
gloomily through the files of carriages and masses of 
people who filled the Ritter square in crowds. His 
way led him past the statue of the great Gustavus 
Vasa, which adorned the place. ' Oh that thou wert 
now alive, noble hero ! ' sighed he, as he came in view 
of it. 'Then, truly, the despotism of vassals would 
not dare to deck itself with the robes of righteousness ! ' 
As if desirous of fleeing from the grief which preyed 
upon him, he gave the spur to his horse, and hastily 
passed the bridge which connects Holy-Ghost island 
and the city with the Norrmalm, and followed the 
south bank towards Blasiusholm, the refuge of Georgi- 
na. At the door he met the preacher Conradi, in 
whose countenance he observed with surprise an 
expression of hope and serenity, mingled with some 
degree of excitement. They entered the room of the 
young sufferer together. 


* Sister is praying in her chamber,' whispered the 
little Magdalena to them. ' We must not disturb her.' 

* May God hear the prayer of the pious maiden,' 
said Conradi. ' Since yesterday a small gleam of 
hope has arisen.' 

' Hope ? ' asked Arwed. ' You have seen the cold, 
inimical, hypocritical face of the queen, and dream 
you yet of hope ? ' 

' If Ulrika remain queen,' answered Conradi, ' then 
indeed is Goertz lost ; but she has received as yet but 
the allegiance of the senate and army, and not that of 
the country. Before she obtains the latter many things 
may happen. I spoke yesterday with the counsellor 
count Tessin, who is most favorably disposed towards 
our poor friend. The queen has committed a great 
political error. She has, in convoking the members 
of the diet, styled herself hereditary queen. This has 
injured her cause. The senate has been severely 
reproached on account of the readiness with which it 
acknowledged her hereditary right. They have also 
sought to awaken dissatisfaction among the people ; 
and in the last sitting of the senate, the president, 
count Horn, did not hesitate to desire of the queen that 
she should surrender the conferring of the royal dignity 
to the decision of the diet. That only would insure 
her the crown, which she else may lose.' 

* Elected or hereditary queen ! is it not all one ? ' 
asked Arwed. 

' Not for the diet,' answered Conradi ; ' and as little 
for the queen. The hereditary king is indebted only 


to God and his forefathers ; the elected king is the 
creature of the electors, and must be dependent upon 

' And if Ulrika should now stand upon her hereditary 
right ? ' asked Arwed further. 

* Then,' answered Conradi, * she would by this 
exercise of arbitrary power, provoke the diet to inquire 
into the hereditary right of the duke of Holstein, 
which would perhaps stand the scrutiny much better 
than her's.' 

' That would little help the good cause ! ' replied 
Arwed. * What can be expected of a prince who is 
capable of giving up his faithful minister to the rage 
of his enemies ? ' 

' Or the throne would be declared vacant,' proceeded 
Conradi, ' and a regent of the empire seated upon it. 
To that end are many Swedish lords laboring, as I 
am well informed from good sources. At all events 
let there be a change in the government, and there 
may be also a change of feeling in relation to Goertz, 
to his advantage.' 

' I doubt that,' observed Arwed. ' Though the con- 
tending parties may oppose each other ever so bitterly 
on other subjects, all unite in their hatred of the 
foreigner. He is the common enemy against whom 
they all, as one man, array themselves.' 

' You shall not thus frivolously deprive me of my 
best joy,' said Conradi, struck by the weight of his 

' All your suppositions,' continued Arwed, ^ are 


founded upon the hypothesis that the queen will per- 
severe in maintaining her hereditary right. But she 
will not persevere. As soon as it clearly appears to 
her that she can purchase the crown only at this price, 
she will become an elective queen, or charity queen, 
or whatever else it may please the diet to name her.' 

* Do you think so ? ' asked Conradi with alarm. 

' Has she not already yielded the sovereignty ? ' 
asked Arwed. ' She who can lend herself to become 
a state puppet, to be decked out with crown and sceptre 
on festival days, that the people may imagine they 
have a queen, will not be obstinate upon minor points^ 
Let her but retain the title of queen, and that will be 
enough for a vain-glorious woman.' 

* Destroy not so cruelly my last air-built castle, 
Arwed ! ' said Georgina, stepping out of her chamber, 
her eyes red with weeping. ' I have enjoyed to-day 
the first cheerful moment for months, through the 
intelligence brought me by the good Conradi, and your 
contradiction of it cuts me to the heart.' 

' Do not lose courage yet, baroness ! ' said Conradi, 
consolingly. * Notwithstanding the captain despairs 
of every thing, the anchor of my hopes still holds fast 
in this tempest. Let the 'plenum plenorum be only 
once held, and then will Gyllenstierna hold another 

* Then may we very soon expect their decision,' said 
Arwed. * The plenum plenomim is already organized. 
May its deliberations result differently from my antici- 
pations ! ' 



'Organized to-day?' asked Conradi with great 
astonishment. ' I thought that to-day would be occu- 
pied in examining credentials and establishing forms 
of procedure.' 

' That had been previously done,' answered x4-rwed. 
' I know for a certainty, by means of my father's secre- 
tary, that the full action of the diet commences to-day.' 

' Then count Tessin has not dealt fairly with me,' 
murmured Conradi, shaking his head. ' Probably he 
wished to lull me to sleep and find out what further 
means might be at my command. That is not cavalier- 
like. When the lion creeps and watches like the cat, 
it becomes only a common animal.' 

A long pause ensued, during which each one was 
occupied with his own thoughts. Georgina leaned her 
head upon the back of her chair, whilst her breast 
labored with the anguish of fearful expectation. Arwed 
stood there with his arms folded, casting glances of 
love and compassion upon the maiden. The little 
Magdalena, unaware of the importance of the moment, 
was innocently playing with his sword knot ; while 
Conradi had stepped to the window, and was listening 
attentively to every sound from without. 

' Did you not hear something like the sound of a 
distant bell ? ' he asked Arwed. The latter hastened 
anxiously to the window, and listened to the faint 
sounds. Directly more distinct tones fell upon his ear. 

'Those are the bells of Jacob's church!' cried 
Georgina, springing up. ' What means this general 
ringing of the bells at so unusual an hour ? ' 


' Something of importance either for good or evil/ 
said Conradi. ' I think the diet must have decided, 
and these bells are to celebrate their choice.' 

' Arwed ! ' sighed Georgina, stretching out her hands 
imploringly towards the youth. 

' I will go into the city and procure intelligence,' 
said he, seizing his hat. ' God grant that I may bring 
you back good news.' 

He hastened out, threw himself upon his horse, and 
coursed back to the city. From every tower rung out 
the merry peal of the bells, and in all the streets 
through which he rode, floated joyous multitudes of 
people. In the great square they were crowded head 
to head, and ten thousand hands pointed towards the 
capitol. * The hour of decision has arrived,' said 
Arwed to himself. Leaping from his horse, and 
throwing the bridle reins to his servant, he pushed his 
way through the crowd to the portal of the building. 

There stood the pompous equipage of the duke of 
Holstein. The duke sat therein, viewing the windows 
of the hall of assembly with a countenance expressive 
of sorrow and offended pride. An elderly gentleman 
in the uniform of a Holstein general, and with a pen- 
sive air, stepped out of the door of the capitol. 

' Now, Bauer ? ' cried the duke to him impatiently, 
throwing open the door of the carriage. 

' All in vain, your grace ! ' said Bauer, stepping into 
the carriage. ^ I did not even obtain an opportunity 
to read your protest to the end.' 

' Sweden, Sweden, to whom I have offered up every 
thing,' growled the duke, 'is this your gratitude!' 


Hastily catching hold of the general, he drew him into 
the carriage and shut the door, crying, 'forward!' 
The carriage soon rattled out of Arwed's view. 

Trumpets now sounded from the balcony of the 
capitol, attracting Arwed's attention to the place. The 
president of the senate, count Horn, accompanied by 
many of the senators, stepped out upon the balcony. 
' Silence ! ' cried he to the crowd below, waving his 
hand. ' Silence ! ' cried the people in return, and all 
was still. 

' Free Swedes I ' cried the orator, ' the royal council 
and the assembled diet of this kingdom, by virtue of 
the elective right vested in them, in consequence of 
the throne having become vacant without immediate 
heirs, have elected to be queen of the Swedes and 
Goths the full sister of our immortal lord, her royal 
highness and princely grace the landgravine Ulrika 
Eleonora of Hesse. This gracious princess having 
solemnly renounced the sovereignty, so named, or 
unlimited sovereign power, we hereby declare the said 
unlimited power to be forever alienated from the throne, 
and will hold as an enemy to the kingdom whoever 
may hereafter, by secret artifice or the open exertion 
of force, attempt the assumption or exercise of absolute 
power. Long live her maj esty, queen Ulrika Eleonora !' 

' Long live her majesty Ulrika Eleonora ! ' roared 
the numberless throng, mingling their voices with the 
trumpet blasts ; and, as if raised by a whirlwind, their 
hats and caps flew high in air. 

' All is lost ! ' cried Arwed indignantly, as he opened 
a way for himself through the crowd. 


On the twenty-first day of February, 1719, Anved 
entered the prison of the unhappy Goertz, in company 
with lieutenant general Rank. 

' I bring to you a suppliant, my poor friend,' said 
Rank, with a melancholy smile, to Goertz. ' The 
captain has not ceased to besiege his royal highness, 
until he obtained his permission for this interview 
with you. He has a great favor to ask, and if my 
word is entitled to any weight, I am his witness 
that he has well deserved it. He has, through his 
ceaseless activity in your behalf, drawn down upon 
himself the hatred of the Swedish nobility ; and 
could he purchase your life with his own, I am fully 
satisfied that he would make the sacrifice with joy.' 

' Good man ! ' said Goertz much agitated, extending 
his hand to Arwed. ' God grant that you may have 
something to ask of me that my duty will allow me 
to perform.' 

* You know my love for your Georgina, my father,' 
said Arwed, pressing the old man's hand upon his 
heart. * I beg your benediction upon our union.' 



' I have anticipated this request,' sighed Goertz. 
' It does you honor under the present circumstances, 
but I must not say yes to it.' 

' Oh retract those hard words ! ' begged Arwed. 
^ You yourself just now called me a good man. By 
heaven I am so. Your daughter loves me — and our 
glorious king, the evening before his death, promised 
to crown my wishes.' 

' I know it all,' said Goertz, ' but I can give no 
other answer.' 

' You hate the Swede in me,' said Arwed in a tone 
of the deepest sorrow ; ' nor can I blame you for it.' 

' Have you no better opinion of the father of your 
beloved ? ' asked Goertz, with mild reproach. ' I love 
the man in you, and you may learn of my daughter 
that I was not opposed to your wishes, when I yet 
stood in my former elevated position. But what 
would the world say of me, should I willfully make 
you unhappy by consenting to your marriage with the 
daughter of an unfortunate man whom your father 
hates, and whose life and honor will soon be destroy- 
ed by one sharp stroke. If, when my fate shall have 
been sealed, my daughter's passion remain stronger 
than her remembrance of it, she is then at liberty to 
follow the dictates of her own heart. I neither advise 
nor forbid the connection, and shall earnestly pray to 
God that all may go well with you, and that you may 
never have cause to repent the inconsiderate step.' 

'Ah, that is a comfortless consent,' said Arwed 
sorrowfully. ' Georgina's overstrained delicacy indu- 


ces her to take the same ground against me, and I 
have now come to beg your intercession with her, 
which is necessary to my success.' 

* My daughter feels as a Goertz must feel,' answer- 
ed the old man. ' It is noble in you to persist in your 
request. Concede to us also the generosity of the 

' You make not me alone unhappy ! ' cried Arwed 
with vehemence. * I may, indeed, in time become 
reconciled to it. But your daughter will also be made 
miserable at the same time. Her love is stronger 
than she, in the depth of her filial sorrow, at present 
supposes it. She may, indeed, give me up, but she 
can never forget me.' 

' The consciousness of having done right will help 
her to bear much, my son,' answered Goertz. ' Let 
us talk of it no more.' 

' You rend my heart,' said Rank with weeping 
eyes. * But I thank you for this sorrow. It is a high 
and holy privilege to behold virtue struggling with 
heavy and undeserved affliction.' 

At this moment the keys were heard rattling in the 
prison door. It creaked upon its hinges, and in 
stepped, with the proud dignity of his black official 
robes, and with deep traces of hidden malice and 
bodily suffering in his yellow face, the speaker Hyl- 
ten, delegate of the citizens to the imperial diet of the 
realm, and a member of the commission instituted for 
the trial of the prisoner. — He was followed by one of 
the clerks of the court, with his arm full of documents. 


' I come, von Goertz,' unceremoniously commenced 
Hylten, ' to make known to you the sentence of the 
special commission. Eeceive it with becoming 

' I must indeed,' answered Goertz with a bitter 
smile, slightly rattling his chains. He rose up, and 
Hylten took a large sealed document from the hands 
of the clerk. 

' Do you wish that we should retire, sir commis- 
sioner ? ' asked Bank. 

* You may remain here forever, if you please, sir 
lieutenant general,' answered Hylten contemptuously. 
' The crimes of this man are notorious, as his punish- 
ment will also be, and where justice is sustained by 
the general voice, there can be no necessity for avoid- 
ing publicity.' 

' The royal commission,' read he, with a sharp and 
discordant voice, ' having heard and considered all 
the accusations brought by the attorney general, 
Fehmann, and also the replications of the baron von 
Goertz thereto . . . . ' 

' Without consenting to receive my written de- 
fence ! ' interposed Goertz. 

* And all the plots and devices of the said Goertz,' 
proceeded Hylten without noticing the interruption, 
' since his coming into this kingdom, having for their 
object to bring by wicked means the subjects of the 
said kingdom into great discredit with the king . . .' 

' All ? ' asked Goertz. ' He who affirms too much, 
afRrms nothing.' 


' And how he,' proceeded Hylten, * represented 
them as evil-minded and idle persons, who were 
unwilling to contribute towards the general welfare.' 

' Could that have been a crime ? ' asked Goertz. 

* And also,' read Hylten, ' endeavored to destroy 
the confidence of the king in the senators, counsellors 
and others of his true servants, removing the same 
from all important public employments, so that the 
whole patronage of the government should go through 
his own hands, contrary to the lavvs and statutes of 
this country ' 

' I was the minister of an absolute sovereign,' inter- 
posed Goertz. ' How can I be made answerable for 
the decisions of his iron will ? ' 

' And moreover,' proceeded Hylten, ' such schemes 
brought to light as could serve no other end than to 
rob the king's subjects of all their property . . . . ' 

' The stamped tokens and notes of the mint had 
already been issued before the time of my adminis- 
tration,' cried Goertz indignantly* 

' And finally,' read Hylten, ' according to letters of 
his, which have been discovered, he has not ceased 
to labor for the prolongation of the war, thereby pla- 
cing the king and the country in a very embarrassing 
and dangerous situation . . . . ' 

' Who dares assert these lies ? ' cried Goertz with 
indignation. ' For fourteen years had Sweden carried 
on an uninterrupted, and for six years an unsuccessful 
war, when Charles confided the helm of state to me. 
Since that time, I have honestly labored to extinguish 


the fire which destroyed the prosperity of our country. 
A glorious peace with our most fearful enemy was 
brought by me near to a conclusion, when the king's 
sudden death changed . . . . ' 

* You appear to forget,' said Hylten angrily, ^ that 
you have here only to listen, and not to speak.' 

' Then in God's name read to the end,' said Goertz, 
becoming calm. ' I will interrupt you no more.' 

' Satisfied of the truth of these charges,' resumed 
Hylten, ' without examining further into the evil con- 
duct of the said Goertz, a full investigation of which 
certain causes will not allow, it appears clear to us 
that he is the dishonest cause of all the misfortunes 
which this country has suffered, and also that through 
the above named employments he has become a citi- 
zen of this kingdom, and subject to its laws ; upon 
which the royal commission, having weighed these 
and other crimes, have decided and adjudged, that 
the said Goertz, for the punishment of his evil deeds, 
and for an example to other false counsellors and dis- 
turbers of the peace of the kingdom, shall be behead- 
ed and afterwards buried at the place of execution.' 

' Ha I this sentence . . . . ' began Arwed with 
ungovernable rage, but Rank gently laid his hand 
upon his mouth. 

Goertz had accompanied the close of the reading 
with only a sigh and shrug of the shoulders. At 
length he observed, ' that is, in every point of view, 
a monstrous sentence, informal, unjust, void, and 
repugnant to common sense. The grounds upon 


which it is supported are unimportant or untrue ; the 
most unheard of circumstance, however, is, that they 
take away my life for transgressions which are not 
specified. From this fault, at least, the legal knowl- 
edge of the members of the commission should have 
preserved them.' 

' I am not here to listen to your complaints,' answer- 
ed Hylten, pettishly. ' The sentence of the commission 
is unalterable, and will be executed as soon as it is 
approved by the diet and royal council, and ratified 
by the queen.' 

' So I supposed,' said Goertz ; ' and submit to 
power, which, alas ! is every where above right. I 
only wish to make one remark. They have passed 
over my management of the national revenue in per- 
fect silence. I beg to be allowed time to prepare my 
accounts and lay them before the diet, and thus at 
least inform the world that I have managed the finan- 
ces like an honest man. Should this request be 
refused, however, I yet hope at least from the magna- 
nimity of the diet, that they will demand of my heirs 
no settlement of my accounts, of which they can know 

' I doubt,' said Hylten with some apparent mortifi- 
cation, ' whether the diet will grant you this delay. 
I will, however, lay your request before them, and 
have only to advise you to prepare yourself in the 
meanwhile for your approaching death.' 

' Wo to me,' cried Goertz, ' if my whole life has 
not been a preparation for death ! Yet I thank you 


for your counsel. My blood be not upon your 

Hylten hastened away in confusion, and the weep- 
ing Eank threw himself upon the breast of his friend. 
Arwed fell upon his knee before him, and clasping 
his hand exclaimed, '■ give me Georgina for my wife, 
my father. She needs strong support in her trying 
situation, and I feel myself capable of affording it to 

' Even now ? ' cried Goertz, heartily embracing the 
youth, ' thou true heart ! But I must still answer with 
a decided negative. The only sprout of one of the 
noblest houses of Sweden must never, under any 
circumstances, connect himself with the daughter of a 
condemned and dishonored traitor, whose body must 
moulder under the gallows.' 

His voice was broken by the excess of his feelings. 
Arwed, despairing, rose up. ' Can I then do nothing 
for you ? ' asked Eank, wringing his hands. 

* I cannot be saved,' said Goertz, ' and have already 
been long prepared for death. Only the ignominy of 
a public execution, and the outrage which awaits my 
mortal remains, trouble me ; not on my own account, 
but on that of my poor children and innocent connex- 
ions. If you are disposed to give me a last proof of 
your love, you will on my behalf, petition the queen that 
I may die in my prison and have an honorable grave.' 

* I will immediately speak with the prince,' said 
Rank. ' He was never your enemy. His wife loves 
him more tenderly than one would suppose her cold 


heart capable of loving. I hope to be able to render 
you this service.' — He departed. 

' I will throw myself at my father's feet,' cried 
Arwed, * and never cease my supplications until he 
shall promise me to aid in the accomplishment of your 
last wish. — Oh, my God ! that I cannot save you ! 
It is only through this infamous sentence that your 
purity has become fully clear to me. Your blood be 
upon the heads of your unworthy murderers.' 

He strode forth. Goertz, however, folded his hands, 
raised his eyes to heaven, and prayed with silent 



Accompanied by the trusty Brodin, on the next day, 
Arwed stood trembling as with a paroxysm of ague, 
in the ante-chamber of the hall in which the royal 
council held its sittings. The chief clerk of the 
council approached them with a protecting air. 

' This is the young man of whom I spoke to you, 
my worthy friend,' said Brodin to him, at the same 
time slipping a heavy purse into his hand ; * let me 
recommend him to your kindness.' 

Brodin departed. The chief clerk led Arwed to the 
door which communicated with the grand saloon, and 
opened it. ' Between the door and the inner drapery,' 
said he, ' you can see and hear every thing that takes 
place, without being observed. But remember my 
stipulation. Keep yourself quiet, and if you are dis- 
covered, recollect that we have never known each 
other, and that you slipped in here behind my back.' 

' How can I possibly involve you in my fate ? ' an- 
swered Arwed, proceeding to conceal himself in the 
designated lurking place. 

' Not yet,' said the chief clerk, pulling him back : 


' the lords of the council must first assemble there, 
and might easily discover you as they pass,' 

At that moment the outer folding doors opened, 
and in their solemn official dresses, in long, red velvet 
cloaks and red caps of the same material, the royal 
counsellors passed in couples through the ante-cham- 
ber into the saloon. They were the counts Gyllen- 
stierna, Rhenskioeld, Stromberg, Horn, Cronhielm, 
Tessin, Meierfeld and Moerner, and the barons 
Duecker, Taube, Sparre, and Banner, 

' They are all here to-day for once,' said the chief 
clerk. ' Count Spens alone is absent. Indeed the 
business is of too much importance, and they cannot 
expedite the ex-minister too hastily I ' 

One of the queen's chamberlains again threw open 
the doors, and, in full dress, stiff and stately as the 
image of the virgin in some place of pilgrimage, with 
a countenance in which deep hatred vainly sought to 
conceal itself under assumed dignity, the queen passed 
by them into the hall. Arwed then slipped into his 
hiding place, and the chief clerk shut the door after 

After the ceremony of the queen's reception was 
over, and the members had taken their seats, the 
governor, baron Taube, took the floor. 

' The special royal commission,' said he, ' has 
sentenced von Goertz to lose his head under the 
gallows, and there be buried. The diet has, by a 
majority of voices, concurred in this verdict, and by 
her majesty's command the royal council is now assem- 


bled to decide whether the sentence shall be carried 
into full effect, or whether Goertz shall have the benefit 
of some mitigation of its severity.' 

' I consider it dangerous to deal so hardly with 
Goertz,' said count Cronhielm. ' The late king reposed 
great confidence in him, and I fear that it may injure 
the Swedish nation abroad, since Goertz has many 
adherents and a highly respected family.' 

' A man who has endeavored to overthrow the whole 
kingdom,' cried the passionate Horn, * who has com- 
mitted the crimes detailed in the report of the com- 
missioners, is not too severely judged. Clemency 
towards him may seduce many others to enter upon a 
similar course, to the great injury of the realm. 
Besides, he has been tried and sentenced by conscien- 
tious men, who, if they have done him injustice, must 
answer it to their God.' 

' It is not my wish that he should go unpunished,' 
answered Cronhielm. ' But it may be well to remem- 
ber, that the commencement of our political career will 
be closely scrutinized, and that the manner of the 
execution may injure us with the nation, and particu- 
larly with our nobility. He may be beheaded, but to 
bury under the gallows a man who has been employed 
in so many important affairs by our late king, appears 
to me to be bad policy.' 

' Any Swede who may conduct himself as he has,' 
cried Horn, exasperated, ' may be punished in the 
same manner.' 

' These altercations do not accomplish our object,' 


remarked Ulrika. ' I desire the lords counsellors to 
speak in their due order.' 

' When I heard the sentence read,' said baron 
Banner, * I expected a harder punishment. When, 
however, I view the question in relation to the general 
welfare, it appears to me that the end is attained when 
the criminal is deprived of life. It can in no way 
concern the public interests whether he be buried 
under the gallows or not. I consider it a matter of 
indifference where he lies.' 

* That is also our opinion,' said the three other 
barons and the counts Cronhielm and Meierfeld, 

* As he has been judged by so learned and discrim- 
inating a commission,' observed count Tessin, ' and 
as the knighthood and nobility have approved the 
sentence, it should be carried into full and complete 
effect. Should I advise any clemency, it must be in 
harmony with those who have a more minute knowl- 
edge of all the individual views presented by the 
commission, which are said to be very exact and to 
comprehend the particulars of Goertz' crimes. The 
Italian proverb indeed says : Morta la hestia^ morto 
il xeneno — but something is necessary by way of 
example, that others may be deterred from meddling 
with the business of state — and I know not but it 
might be well to think of another expedient, which is 
often resorted to in other places, viz : the erection of a 
monument, which shall inform posterity of his conduct 
and his fate, and which may prove a warning to 



foreigners not to intrude themselves into this kingdom, 
exciting its subjects to such violence as he has insti- 
gated. Yet I only throw out these ideas for the 
gracious and favorable consideration of your majesty 
and your excellencies.' 

' I still adhere to the opinion I before advanced,' 
said count Horn ; ' and God knows that I am not 
influenced by any prejudice. But I am convinced that 
smaller offences are oftentimes more severely punish- 
ed. From affection to my native country must I adhere 
to the sentence.' 

' If we examine the circumstances of this case,' 
remarked count Stromberg deliberately, 'we find 
them very bad. I am therefore compelled to support 
the opinion of count Horn,' 

' For his pernicioas projects,' said count Rhenskio- 
eld, ' Goertz has well deserved the punishment of 
death. I suggest however for the gracious consider- 
ation of your majesty, whether mercy should not be 
extended to him in consideration of his family.' 

' As it appears to me,' said count Gyllenstierna, 
taking up the argument, ' the present question is only 
whether the condemned shall be buried under the 
gallows. That he must die, is already decided by a 
majority of the voices. Now, the object being accom- 
plished by his death, I see no objection to his being 
buried any where else, so that his family may be 
spared too great suffering through such ignominy.' 

' He is disgraced sufficiently when he falls under 
the hands of the executioner,' said the queen in her 


most scornful tone. * As for the rest, the diet may do 
what they please with him.' 

' It must be confessed,' said Cronhielm timidly, ^ that 
he was not permitted to exercise the right of defence 
so fully as the law allows, and that he had not the 
benefit of legal counsel. Besides, he is a member of 
the Franconian nobility, who are very jealous of their 
privileges. They will maintain that the accused 
could not be legally judged here, and, to avoid irrita- 
ting them, it appears to me that it would be w^ell not 
to deal too severely with him.' 

' I know nothing to induce me to suppose,' said 
Horn, ' that Goertz had not the privilege of defending 

' If he had not,' said Tessin, * he must be allowed 
a new trial.' 

' I call for the votes of the special commission,' said 
Cronhielm. ' Stiernkrona has explicitly declared it 
contrary to law and equity to deprive Goertz of the 
means of defending himself.' 

' Let the record of the commission be brought here,' 
said the queen angrily, to baron Banner. He hastened 
into the ante-chamber and sent the chief clerk to bring 
it, while slight hopes were once more raised in the 
bosom of the listening Arwed. Meanwhile there was 
a long pause in the council room, during w^hich count 
Cronhielm was compelled to bear the inconvenient 
criticisms of his brother counsellors for his last speech. 

' As governor of Stockholm,' said Baron Taube, 
interrupting the general silence, ' it is my duty to 
inquire how the execution shall be conducted ? ' 


' The conclusion is,' answered the queen impatiently, 
^ that the governor is to deal with baron von Goertz 
according to the sentence of the commission, as con- 
firmed by the diet.' 

' It is quite superfluous, then,' cried Cronhielm, 
rising up with feelings of resentment, * that we should 
further discuss an affair in relation to which her maj- 
esty has already issued her commands.' 

' Certainly, wholly superfluous,' said Horn, likewise 
rising. The others followed his example. The 
council broke up its sitting without waiting for the 
record of the commission, and, reverentially conducted 
by her attendants, the queen, like a thunder cloud 
which had ignited and exploded with wide spread 
desolation, proudly moved through the ante-chamber. 

' Stat pro rat zone voluntas ! ' cried Arwed with 
suppressed rage. * Wo to the country where the holy 
halls of justice can be profaned by such a sentence ! ' 


On the 12th March, all Stockholm was stirring 
with unusual commotion. The streets leading to the 
place of execution were thronged with people im- 
pelled by strongly excited curiosity. Cavalry and 
infantry were drawn up before the council house on 
the Suedermalm, before the principal door of which 
stood the carriage destined for the conveyance of the 
baron von Goertz. 

Arwed entered Goertz' prison, supporting the fal- 
tering steps of Georgina with , one arm, whilst with 
the other hand he led the wailing Magdalena. Lieu- 
tenant general Rank was sitting alone in the room, 
reading a paper which he had taken from among 
others which lay upon the table. 

' Is it you, my good captain ? ' exclaimed he, taking 
Arwed's hand. Then, looking at his companions, he 
sighed, * Alas ! poor, poor, children ! ' 

' Where is my father ? ' asked Georgina in an 
almost inaudible tone, sinking down upon a stool. 

' In the next room,' answered Rank. ' Conradi is 
with him.' 

' What are you reading there, general ? ' asked 


Arwed without interest, merely to break the painful 

' The epitaph of our friend,' answered Rank, hand- 
ing the paper to him. ' He sketched it himself.' 

Georgina had sprung from her seat, and hanging 
upon Arwed's arm, looked with him upon the manu- 

' Read aloud,' said she. * Something like a dense 
cloud waves before my eyes. I cannot see the letters.' 

* Will it not prove too great a trial for you ? ' asked 
Arwed with tender care. 

' I am here,' she answered, ^ to take a last leave 
of my father, before his death by the sword of the 
executioner. What else can shake me ? ' 

Struggling to suppress his tears, Arwed proceeded 
to read : 

' A la veille do conclure un grand traite de paix, 
' mon heros perit, la royaute avec lui. Dieu veuille 
' qu'il n'arrive pis ! Je meurs aussi. C'est toujours 
' mourir en magnifique compagnie, quand on meurt 
' avec son roi et la royaute.' 

' Very true ! ' exclaimed Georgina. ' The ruins of 
royalty are a worthy mausoleum for the great man ; 
but his children despair.' 

Arwed continued : 

'Mors regis, fidesque in regem et ducem, mors 

' That means ? ' asked Georgina in a faint voice. 

' The death of the king and fidelity to him and 
to the duke are the cause of his death.' 

' Alas, how true ! ' sighed Georgina, and, breaking 


out in a flood of tears, she sunk upon Arwed's 

The door of the adjoining room now opened, and 
Goertz entered with a serene countenance, followed 
by the weeping Conradi. * Father ! ' shrieked his 
daughters, throwing themselves into his arms. 

'My dear children!' cried he, joyfully pressing 
them to his bosom, and kissing them tenderly. 

' If that adamantine heart were here,' said Arwed 
to Conradi, with deep emotion, ^ this scene would 
yet melt it.' 

' I thank God that the queen is not here,' answered 
the latter. ' She would remain inexorable, and thus 
aggravate her responsibility in the next world.' 

The outer prison door was now opened, and with a 
brutal air colonel Baumgardt walked into the room. 
He was followed by chief judge Hylten, who appeared 
yet more miserable than before, leaning upon his 
clerk. The outer hall was soon filled with Swedish 

' Goertz, your time has come ! ' cried Baumgardt, 

' In God's name, your blessing, my father ! ' cried 
Georgina, kneeling and drawing Magdalena down 
with her to his feet. 

' Continue good ! ' cried Goertz in a broken voice, 
laying his hands upon their heads, * so that I may 
give a good account of you to your mother, and that 
you may say joyfully to your God, when you come 
after me. Father, here am I, and here are those 
whom thou hast given me.' 


' Amen ! ' said Conradi, moving towards the door. 

' Thanks for your love,' said Goertz, embracing 
Rank and Arwed, and then turning to follow his 
spiritual assistant. 

' Now let us forth,' cried Georgina wildly, grasping 
the hands of the youth and of the little Magdalena, 
' that we may arrive before him ! ' 

' You cannot support the scene ! ' said Arwed 
anxiously to her. 

' And should I die in his last moments,' answered 
Georgina, ' what a happy death ! ' 

Goertz had overheard this conversation, and turned 
once more towards his daughters. ' You will go 
hence directly back to your dwelling,' said he earn- 

' Father ! ' stammered Georgina, ' shall I not see 
you once more ? ' 

' It is your father's last command ! ' cried Goertz. 
Wouldst thou bind my soul to earth, through sorrow 
for thee, when its wings were already joyfully raised 
to take its flight to its creator ? Take my daughters 
home, Gyllenstierna ! ' 

* Forward ! ' growled Baumgardt. * God bless you, 
my loves ! ' cried Goertz with a stronger voice, and 
followed his guards. 


Nine days had passed, since the ground under the 
Swedish gallows had drunk the blood of the worthy- 
German. The evening was closing in, all the bells 
of the capital were tolling, and the thunder of cannon 
was heard from the Ritterholm, in honor of the royal 
hero who at this hour was committed to the tomb of 
his fathers. Arwed entered Georgina's room. He 
found her with Magdalena and her only maid, (whom 
she still retained,) in their traveling dresses. 

^ I thank you for coming so punctually,' said Geor- 
gina. ' You are now to render me the last service. 
It is not without danger, but I know you, and there- 
fore demand it without hesitation.' 

' Every thing for thee ! ' cried Arwed passionately. 

' Then accompany me,' said she, ' upon my way 
to the performance of a difficult duty, in which I need 
a man's aid. Have every thing ready,' said she to 
her maid servant. ' If heaven favor our attempt, we 
shall soon return, directly to leave this horrible coun- 
try ! ' 

She took Arwed's arm and proceeded Avith him to 


the bank of the Norderstrom. There a boat was 
in waiting, in which were Goertz' Holstein servants. 
The oars moved and the boat soon floated forth upon 
the peaceful lake. Georgina, wrapped in her cloak, 
sat upon the deck observing the stars which here and 
there discovered themselves in the deepening gloom 
of the evening. 

'What project have you in hand, Georgina ? ' at 
length asked Arwed anxiously. 

' I will now^ make it known to you,' answered she. 
' I am going for my father's corpse. Ungrateful 
Sweden shall not hold his bones.' 

' My God, you risk your life ! ' cried Arwed with 

^ I think not,' she calmly answered. * Public duty 
and curiosity have drawn all Stockholm to witness 
the funeral solemnities of the king, and I hope to 
find the place deserted. And of what consequence 
would be my life ? I risk it joyfully in the perform- 
ance of my filial duty ! If you fear the service, say 
where I shall land you.' 

' You affiict me undeservedly ! ' complained Arwed. 
' Sooner should the royal council affix my name to 
the gallows from which you are about to tear its 
prey, than I would desert your side. Only for you 
was I anxious. Even if every thing succeed, this 
undertaking is unsuited to your years and sex.' 

' Ah, dear Arwed ! ' said Georgina, ' I have lived 
long in a short time, and great afflictions give new 
strength to the heart. Seek not to dissuade me.' 


Both remained silent while the convoy moved 
rapidly and undisturbedly onward. At length the 
boat landed, and they got out. Two of the servants 
drew a litter from beneath the deck, and bore it 
ashore. The others followed with cords, shovels and 

' Eemain here,' said Arwed to Georgina. ' I will 
superintend the labor and spare you at least that 

' No,' answered she, ' it must all be fulfilled. But 
you may accompany me, that I may have a friend to 
lean upon if the body should prove weaker than the 

The melancholy company moved silently forward 
through the stillness of the night. At length the 
gallows arose awfully before them in huge and unde- 
fined outline. 

* It was here,' whispered one of the servants, 

* Here ? ' sobbed Georgina, falling down and kiss- 
ing the holy ground. 

' Now to the work, faithful friends,' said she, 
rising up. 

With restless zeal the labor was commenced with 
pick-axe and shovel, and soon the silver clamps upon 
the black cofiin glistened from the depth. Two of 
the servants sprang into the grave and made room 
for themselves on each side until they succeeded in 
passing the cords under the coffin, It was slowly 
drawn up and placed upon the litter, 


During the time which had thus elapsed, Georgina 
had stood by with folded hands, engaged in prayer. 
The litter was quickly raised, and the little train 
moved silently back to the shore with its sad burden. 
Georgina followed, requiring all of Arwed^s strength 
to sustain her tottering steps. The coffin was placed 
in the boat, which immediately put off. 

' It is done ! ' cried Georgina, convulsively clasping 
Arwed's hand. * I thank thee.' 

' And now ? ' asked the faithful youth. 

' You will soon learn,' answered Georgina, remain- 
ing buried in reflection until they landed at the 
Blasiusholm. A merchant ship lay at anchor near 
by. The maiden now arose, as in the golden times 
of her happy love, and throwing her arms about 
Arwed's neckj pressed her ice-cold lips to his. ' Fare- 
well forever, dear Arwed ! ' breathed she in a scarcely 
articulate tone. 

' What say you ? ' cried Arwed in alarm, encircling 
her Avith his arms. 

^ It cannot be otherwise,' answered she, extricating 
herself from his embrace. ' This ship takes me and 
my father's corpse to Hamburg.' 

' Not without me, faithless one ! ' angrily exclaimed 
Arwed. * Fly to the new world — fly from life, if you 
will — and still I will accompany you ! ' 

' Let us not revive our former sad strife,' said she 
sorrowfully. ' I must not become yours. You may 
pain me, but you cannot shake my determination, 
which is as unmovable as are my misfortunes.' 


* Georgina ! ' implored Arwed, clasping her knees. 

' You have always conducted towards me with 
such a knightly delicacy, my Arwed,' said Georgina, 
laying her cold hand upon his heated brow, * that I 
may safely compare you with any of the lofty ex- 
emplars of former times. My love for you is, indeed, 
yet stronger than in the moments of its first confes- 
sion, — but the blot which rests upon my name forbids 
my uniting myself with the son of him who sentenced 
my innocent father to a criminal's death. Believe me, 
even were I weak enough to yield to your request, 
we could not be happy together. The remembrance 
of all that has occurred would, like a fearful spectre, 
stand between us, and self-contempt would follow me 
even to your arms. Now, the consciousness of hav- 
ing offered up my love upon the altar of duty, will 
raise me above myself and give me strength worthily 
to bear the afflictions laid upon me by my God. 
Wherefore, my friend, I demand of you our separa- 
tion as your last love-service, and a true knight must 
obey his mistress, when with tearful eyes and broken 
accents she says to him. Let us part ! ' 

'I go!' exclaimed Arwed, clasping Georgina once 
more to his bosom and to his lips, and rushing forth. 

' That was the death of the heart I ' cried the un- 
happy maiden, pressing her clasped hands upon her 
bosom. — ' What may hereafter come is not worth 
consideration. Let me but satisfy the world of my 
father's innocence, just God, and then take me to 
thyself and to him in thy heavenly king;dom.' 


The next morning, as lieutenant general Rank was 
mounting the steps to Arwed's quarters, the latter, 
coming furiously out, rushed directly against him. 

* Whither so hasty, my good Gyllenstierna ? ' cried 
Rank, grasping his arm. * I was coming to seek 
you, and have something of importance to say.' 

' And I have something of yet greater importance to 
do, sir general,' answered Arwed in a singular tone. 
' I shall take upon myself to act as a lawyer, and talk 
to the judges about a second appeal.' 

* I fear you are planning some evil, and shall not 
suffer you to go out ! ' cried Rank, dragging the youth 
entirely up the steps. When they had reached his 
room he gave him a searching look. From Arwed's 
pale countenance, wild glaring eyes and disordered 
dress, it was evident that he had not been in bed the 
preceding night, and the handles of a pair of pistols 
were seen projecting from the bosom of his coat. 

' Young man, what do you intend ? ' asked Rank. 
' I have become your friend, and cannot allow you to 
make yourself unhappy.' 


' The injustice/ answered Anved, ' which conducted 
Goertz to the scaffold, has robbed me of all the happi- 
ness of my existence. Georgina has rejected me and 
bidden an eternal farewell to Sweden. I will now 
devote the rest of my miserable life to some useful 
purpose, and assume the office of Nemesis, The 
judges who condemned the innocent, shall answer it 
to me before the mouth of my pistol or the point of 
my sword, and with their worthy president will I make 
a beginning ! ' 

' Calm yourself,^ said Eank, * Count Ribbing can- 
not be called to account by you.' 

' He shall, he must I ' cried Arwed, with flashing 
eyes. ' The wretch, by signing the sentence, has 
declared that Goertz had lived dishonorably and should 
therefore die ignominiously ! It will be honor enough 
for him to die as a cavalier by the hands of an hon- 
orable man ! ' 

' He can no longer be held answerable to you,' 
repeated Rank. * He is dead ! ' 

' Dead ! ' reiterated Arwed, shuddering. 

' Even before the execution of Goertz, was he attack- 
ed by apoplexy,' pursued Rank, ' and instantly expired. 
His death was for a time kept a secret from the people, 
who might have drawn various sinister conclusions 
from the occurrence, but I cannot understand how you 
could have remained so long ignorant of it.' 

' I have paid no attention to the news of the capital 
during the last week,' answered Arwed in a low tone 
of voice. * Dead ! The executioner gone before the 


victim ! I am sorry for it. I will then seek the public 
prosecutor, and thank him for the gratitude he evinced 
towards his patron.' 

' Would you contend with a cripple ? Fehmann 
also has been smitten. He now lies very low, and, if 
he ever recover, he will, nevertheless, remain a 
maimed man the remainder of his life. The living 
body of the wretched Hylten is daily consumed by 
worms, and doctor Molin has fallen backwards from 
his seat and broken his neck.' 

' And thus all the ringleaders escape me I ' cried 
Arwed, stamping with his foot. ' Stiernkrona is inno- 
cent, and the rest were little more than miserable 

* You see, my young friend,' said Rank, seizing 
Arwed's hand, ' that God himself will fulfill the duties 
of judge in this case. Assume not the office of avenger 
with bold presumption ! ' 

' Only one of them now remains,' cried Arwed 
fiercely ; ' but he shall not escape me ! ' 

' Whom do you mean ? ' anxiously asked Rank. 

' Colonel Baumgardt,' answered Arwed, ' who ar- 
rested the martyr, in obedience to the commands of a 
man who at that time had no authority to issue such 
an order. Had it not been for his shameful readiness 
on that occasion, the noble blood of Goertz would not 
have flowed.' 

' You are right, but I warn you,' said Rank. ' Di- 
rectly by means of that arrest has Baumgardt acquired 
great favor with the queen. A challenge upon that 


ground would not be accepted by him, and would 
bring you to a prison.' 

* I thank you for the warning,' answered Arwed. 
' But fortunately the colonel has injured me personally, 
and is therefore prepared to receive a challenge from 

^ If that be the case,' said Rank, ' and you are not 
provided with a second, I offer you my services in 
that capacity.' 

' You, general ! ' cried Arwed with astonishment. 

' I am your friend,' said Eank, ' and will openly 
prove it, and at the same time abjure my political 
faith. Let it be considered as settled. Before the 
duel, however, I advise you to resign your commission. 
Indeed it was for that purpose I came to seek you. 
You have made many and powerful enemies. Noth- 
ing but your father's power and influence has hitherto 
preserved you, and even he is angry with you now. 
If he also should give you up, you would be lost with- 
out redemption.' 

* Only he who gives himself up, is lost,' said Arw^ed. 
* Yet will I follow rour good counsel. Under the 
present circumstances there is no longer honor nor 
pleasure for me in the Swedish service/ 

' It is unfortunate for you, Gyllenstierna,' cried 
Rank dejectedly. 'You have in you the metal for a 
Horn or a Torstenson, and it is to be regretted that 
your talents cannot be devoted to the service of your 
country. Whenever you need my services in your 
proposed affair, you know where to find me.' 


He took his leave, and Arwed accompanied him to 
the door. On his return he passed a mirror, and 
the reflection of his disordered figure caught his at- 

' I look as bad/ cried he, ' as a highway robber, 
going forth in pursuit of his prey. This is not as 
it should be. Even the just anger of an honorable 
man should not wear this appearance. Stern business 
should be sternly executed ; but with a due regard to 
outward appearances, so that the wretch whom I am 
about to punish may not be able to complain that I 
have neglected what good manners prescribe.' 

He drew the pistols from his bosom, and laid them 
aside. Then ringing for his servant, he dressed 
himself with unusual care. The rich gala uniform 
contrasted strangely and frightfully with the sup- 
pressed anger upon his beautiful pale face. He 
buckled on his sword again, and proceeded to the 
Ritterholm in search of his antagonist. 

The parade before the palace had commenced. 
The troops were already marched to the square, and 
the officers were walking to and fro in masses, or 
conversing together in isolated groups. ' Have you 
heard of it?' asked adjutant Kolbert, stepping up to 
Arwed; ' Baumgardt has become a major general, 
and had conferred upon him the order of the sera- 
phim. It will be announced to-day in general 

* There he comes already,* scoffingly observed count 
Posse, who had joined the group ; ' and his face 

A R W E D G y L L E N S T I E R N A . 167 

shines as did that of Moses when he retired from the 
presence of the Most Holy.' 

' I am glad of it,' said Arwed, * I shall have an 
opportunity to congratulate him upon the spot.' 

Meanwhile Baumgardt had descended the palace 
steps with a stately air, and now approached them. 
Already, at a distance, glistened the star and band 
upon his breast, and with proud condescension he 
bowed right and left to the subaltern officers who 
gathered round for the purpose of congratulating him. 
With firm and rapid strides Arwed stepped directly 
in front of the fortunate man. The latter was some- 
Avhat surprised when he recognised him, and turned 
pale upon observing the frightful earnestness ex- 
pressed by his features. * I must most respectfully 
request a short conversation with you, sir major gen- 
eral,' said Arwed very courteously. ' You will have 
the goodness to remember that I reserved this claim 
when we separated at Amal.' 

^ I know not . . . . ' stammered Baumgardt, in the 
embarrassment of his surprise. 

' You allowed yourself,' proceeded Arwed, ' in the 
parsonage at Tanum and in the camp before Freder- 
ickshall, to use certain expressions injurious to my 
honor, and my situation now for the first time allows 
me to ask an explanation of them.' 

' Whatever I may have said,' answered Baumgardt 
sullenly, * was in the discharge of my official duty, 
and therefore I am not to be called to account for it 
by any person.' 


' According to my view,' said Arwed coolly, ' on 
that occasion you overstepped the bounds of your 
duty. You will therefore have the goodness to give 
me the satisfaction due to a man of honor.' 

* I do not know,' answered Baumgardt, ' whether 
I as a general am bound to fight with a captain.' 

' But as a cavalier you dare not refuse satisfaction 
to the count Gyllenstierna,' cried Arwed warmly. 
' If, however, you have any doubts upon that point, 
the corps of officers at the capitol may decide the 

^I doubt only,' said Baumgardt scornfully, 'whether 
you can find any one willing to act as your second in 
so extraordinary an affair, in which I see only the 
quixotism of youth, which I am willing to pardon.' 

* I have consented to act as the count's second,' said 
Rank, who had just joined them. 

' Your excellency ! ' exclaimed Baumgardt with sur- 
prise, ' That is indeed quite another affair. I fight 
with pistols, and fire advancing,' said he to Arwed, 
after a moment's reflection. 

' The choice was yours,' answered Arwed, bowing. 
' I thank you for meeting my wishes in this manner. 
When shall it be ? ' 

' To-morrow morning at ten o'clock, upon the 
Peckholm, opposite the park,' answered Baumgardt, 

' I shall have the honor to await you there,' said 
Arwed, with a very low bow, and turned upon his 


The next morning Arwed was walking silently up 
and down the banks of the Peckholm with lieutenant 
general Rank, awaiting the arrival of the boat which 
was to bring his adversary. Arwed's pistols with their 
apparatus were lying upon his cloak, which was spread 
out under a tall pine tree. 

' You are so tranquil, my friend ! ' said Rank, break- 
ing the long silence ; ' indeed, the moments passed in 
awaiting a duel are most intolerable. I know it by 
my own experience. Perhaps you begin to regret your 
proceeding ? It is not to be doubted that the pistol 
shot which you are about to exchange will be the 
burial salute of your happiness in this kingdom — for 
the queen will never pardon you. Therefore, if your 
resolution has become somewhat weaker, it is yet 
time. Major general Baumgardt is too happy with 
his new promotion and his neAv orders, not to wish to 
wear his honors some years yet, and will very willingly 
agree to any other reparation.' 

'No, general,' answered Arwed; 'God forbid that 
I should meanly convert an honorable combat into a 
piece of buffoonery. A reconciliation between a chal- 


lenge and a duel, I have always deemed a contemptible 
proceeding. It was the firmness, even, of my resolution, 
that made me still, as it places me near the gates of 
death, which to me is a consideration of great solem- 
nity, and as I shall contend for the innocence of our 
friend before the eyes of all Europe.' 

' Brave youth ! ' cried Rank, embracing him with 
much emotion. ' In heaven's name fight. If you fall, 
I will revenge your death as a good second should.' 

At this moment the clock of St. Katharine's tower 
struck ten, and directly afterwards Baumgardt's boat 
landed through the splashing waves of the lake. In 
company w4th another officer he jumped ashore, and 
gave a coldly polite greeting to those who had been 
waiting his arrival. With silent activity the two 
assistants placed the barriers, and, thrusting their 
swords into the ground some distance apart, stretched 
a cord from one to the other, 

' How many paces, general ? ' asked Rank, stepping 
midway of the cord. 

* Twenty ! ' answered Baumgardt morosely. 

' That is a gre^t distance ! ' calmly remarked Arwed, 
and each measured twenty paces from the cord and 
marked the points. 

' Here, Gyllenstierna ! ' cried Rank, and Arwed took 
his place, whilst Baumgardt stepped to the opposite 
point, which his second had marked. Both stood 
eyeing each other with folded arms. The weapons 
were not yet placed in their hands, but the glances of 
hatred exchanged were more deadly than the bullets. 


The seconds had loaded the pistols, and the com- 
batants now received them from their hands. ' Let 
him prevail who has the right ! ' whispered Rank to 
Arwed, stepping aside. 

' It is yet proper to ask/ said Baumgardt's second, 
' whether this affair may not be arranged in some 
other way ? ' 

* In no other possible way ! ' cried Arwed. ' In this 
the major general will certainly agree with me.' 

' In no other way ! ' muttered the general. His 
second then left his side, and the two combatants 
began slowly advancing, and with each step mentally 
measuring the distance which divided them from each 
other. They had advanced scarcely five steps, when 
with Baumgardt the fear of death prevailing, and 
with Arwed his eagerness for the fight conquering all 
prudence and discretion, they both fired almost at the 
same moment. Arwed's ball struck Baumgardt's hat 
from his head, and his opponent's grazed Arwed's left 
arm. But the latter, throwing away the discharged 
pistol, and taking the loaded one in his right hand, 
cautiously advanced. 

Baumgardt followed his example, and advanced 
with a pale face, blue lips and bristling hair. While 
Arwed was observing the alteration which extreme 
anxiety caused in the countenance of his adversary, 
the latter elevated his weapon and continued slowly 
to approach, with his eye intently fixed upon Arwed's 
breast. Then swelled Arwed's heart, and the thirst 


for blood which now sparkled in Baumgardt's eyes, 
reminded him of the fiendlike expression of his face 
on the morning of the execution of Goertz. 

' Your time has come ! Forward ! ' cried the youth, 
in the same words Baumgardt had used on that occa- 
sion, raising his arm at the same moment. With 
sudden terror Baumgardt fired and missed — whilst 
his arm, struck and shattered by Arwed's ball, fell 
helplessly by his side. 

' My God ! ' cried his second, springing to his side, 
and supporting the fainting man. 

' My arm is gone ! ' said Baumgardt, grating his 
teeth and sinking upon the grass over which his blood 
was streaming. ' I am an invalid for life. Why could 
not the booby's bullet have struck my heart or head, 
and so have ended the matter at once ! ' 

Arwed now approached his adversary with Rank, 
who had bound a handkerchief upon his bleeding arm. 

' I am sorry, general,' said he, kindly, ' and my anger 
vanishes with your running blood. May this misfor- 
tune awaken in you a true and heartfelt repentance 
for what you have done. I am appeased, — make 
your peace with God ! ' 

' What are you chattering there '? ' cried Eank 
indignantly, whilst Baumgardt scornfully rejected 
Arwed's proffered hand. 

' Take my hand,' said Arw^ed ; * it is the hand of 
reconciliation. Imagine that it is offered to you by the 
innocent Goertz, whom your conduct led to the scaffold.' 


' Did not I tell you,' cried Baumgardt to his second, 
' that this senseless quarrel had a political origin ? 
You will be a witness for me with her majesty.' 

Overcome by pain, he fell back powerless. 

'Your thoughtless words will cost you your head,' 
said Eank, hastily dragging the youth with him down 
to the shore. 



Arwed was sitting in his quarters, and his regi- 
mental surgeon had just finished bandaging the 
wound in his arm, when old Brodin entered in great 

' His excellency, your father,' whispered he, ' de- 
sires to speak with you alone. He will be here 

' It will not be a very pleasant interview,' sighed 
Arwed, motioning the surgeon to absent himself. 

^ You are not far out of the way,' said Brodin, after 
the surgeon had retired. ' His excellency is very 
angry with you. I have, therefore, hastened here 
before him to prepare you for his visit and to beg of 
you, as an old, true and zealous servant of your house 
— if the anger of the old gentleman should carry 
him too far, that you will still remember that he is 
your father, and listen to what he may please to say 
to you, not as a captain of the guards, but as a son.' 

' I thank you for the warning, worthy friend, and 
will obey you,' answered Arwed. 

The door now opened, and with a flaming, red 
face, the old counsellor entered. 


' The old tell-tale already here,' cried he, * plot- 
ting with the lost son ? I would be alone with the 

Brodin made a submissive, exculpatory gesture, 
whereby he at the same time seemed to beg permis- 
sion to remain — but the old man pointed angrily 
towards the door, and Brodin unwillingly retired. 

' So, you have fought to-day with major general 
Baumgardt ? ' asked the father with assumed calmness. 

* Yes,' answered the son, * but without any impor- 
tant consequences. I am but slightly injured, and 
his life is also out of danger.' 

' Eight ! ' cried the father, with somewhat increasing 
vehemence. * So the trifle of rendering a general, 
who is particularly valued by the queen, a cripple for 
life, is a mere ordinary affair.' 

He walked two or three times up and down the 
room, and then opened a window and looked out. 
After a while he turned again towards Arwed. 

' God is my witness,' cried he, shutting the window 
with great violence, ' God is my witness, that I have 
been forbearing as an angel, but your conduct would 
make an Epictetus furious. To challenge the major 
general just at the moment when the queen, by pro- 
motion and knighthood, had declared him her favorite 
— to shatter his arm, and then confidentially to tell 
him that it was on account of his arresting Goertz, to 
which arrest Ulrika is probably indebted for her 
crown ! Would it indeed be possible, by the widest 


Stretch of fancy, to imagine a proceeding more sense- 
less and ruinous than yours ? ' 

' The party spirit/ answered Arwed, * which 
divides our country, early teaches every Swede to 
choose his side ; and, in a land so disturbed by politi- 
cal storms, a peculiar disgrace seems to rest upon 
neutrality. Blame me not then, my dear father, if I 
also have formed my principles ; and be not angry 
because they are not exactly like yours. If you have 
nothing to pardon me for, except that, having once 
chosen my party, I have remained true to it in every 
emergency, that circumstance should, as I think, 
honor me in your eyes.' 

' Honor ! ' cried the counsellor angrily. ' You dare 
to talk of honor, you ! ' 

' What mean you by that ? ' asked Arwed with 

' Where were you on the evening of the king's 
funeral solemnities ? ' thundered the father. 

' With Georgina,' answered he, not without great 
astonishment at the question. 

' The body of Goertz,' said the counsellor, with 
fierce energy, ' was on that very night stolen from the 
place of execution. You, perhaps, can tell how it 

' I find it very natural,' answered Arwed, ' that those 
who loved the unhappy man, and are firmly convinced 
of the injustice of his condemnation, should, at least, 
have borne off his remains from the unworthy resting 


place in which he was left by the malice of his 

'And if,' proceeded the counsellor, in a slow, 
cutting tone, * if a Swedish officer had command- 
ed this nocturnal expedition, what fate do you think 
would await him under the present government ? ' 

Arwed, by this question, perceiving with a secret 
shudder that his father knew all, remained silent. 

' Dishonorable dismission ! ' sternly exclaimed the 
counsellor ; ' and possibly, as an especial mercy, 
imprisonment for life ! ' 

' If the senate require only my confession to enable 
it to pass the sentence,' cried Arwed with violence, 
' you may be the bearer of that confession to it. I am 
too proud to deny what my heart impelled me to do.' 

The father stood a long time looking at his son with 
powerful emotion. ' Yes ! ' he finally broke forth, 
' yes, you are a Gyllenstierna ! With our failings you 
unite all the virtues of our family. Holding fast that 
which has been once chosen — noble even in our 
errors — so were we always. And so much the deeper 
is my regret that so many good qualities must be 
forever lost to the country.' 

' From these expressions,' said Arwed, ' I must infer 
that you bring me already the decision of my fate. 
If so, speak it without hesitation. I am prepared to 
receive it.' 

' The queen was beside herself,' answered the 
counsellor, *when she heard of your last misdeed; 
and had she obeyed the first suggestions of her rage, 


you would now have been in chains, awaiting a 
decision involving life or death.' 

' Little souls are generally cruel,' observed Arwed. 

' As a father I pleaded for my disobedient son,' 
continued the counsellor ; ' and it is not strange that 
the man, whose duty it will be to place the crown upon 
Ulrika's head at Upsala, should not plead entirely in 
vain. A full pardon was not, indeed, to be thought 
of. Yet have I succeeded so far in the business, that 
she has left the designation of your punishment to her 
husband. To him I shall now lead you ; and what he 
thinks proper to inflict, must be received by you with 
humility and thankfulness.' 

' If consistent with honor,' answered Arwed, taking 
his hat ; ' otherwise I shall demand a court martial.' 

They went forth together. In the entrance-hall 
they were joined by two officers of the guards, who, 
with them, entered a carriage which was waiting at 
the door. They soon arrived at the palace upon the 
Ritterholm. The two Gyllenstiernas, with their com- 
panions, ascended the steps to the apartments of the 
prince of Hesse, who came forward to meet them with 
a sealed paper in his hand. Only lieutenant general 
Rank was wuth him, who gave an encouraging wink 
to Arwed. 

' You have deeply erred, captain Gyllenstierna,' said 
the prince, earnestl}^ * The severe letter of the law 
must inevitably crush you, were not the hand of mercy 
interposed. But my wife wishes to convince the nobles 
of the land that her royal heart gladly inclines to 


mercy, willingly pardoning when it is in her power to 
do so, and she also wishes to evince her respect for 
your worthy father, by even undeserved kindness 
towards his son. Yet must you be informed, that a 
man Avho has declared open war against the state 
through his audacious acts, cannot remain in his 
country's service, and that the government must be 
secured from any repetition of his offences. Therefore 
receive from me your dismission from the Swedish 
army. You may thank your heroism before Freder- 
ickshall, and the distinction of which my royal brother- 
in-law thought you w^orthy, that this dismissal is united 
with the title of major, which you will henceforth be 
entitled to bear. Yet your crime must not go entirely 
unpunished. Wherefore the queen banishes you 
forever from the limits of the capital, and exacts from 
you a promise that you will never pass the frontier of 
the nation, and that you will never again meddle with 
the political affairs of this kingdom, under pain of 
death. Your father will receive your promise, and 
will determine your future place of residence. May 
time make you wiser ! ' 

Handing to the youth the paper containing his dis- 
charge from the service, he departed and was followed 
by Eank. ' God bless your royal highness ! ' cried the 
elder Gyllenstierna after him. 

' So, I am a prisoner of state in Sweden,' said 
Arwed with a bitter smile. ' It is fortunate that my 
prison is tolerably spacious. Where is it your pleasure 
that I shall go, my father ? ' 


' To Gyllensten, to my brother,' answered the coun- 
sellor, * after 3^ou have signed the required promise, 
which I must return to her majesty.' 

He pointed to a paper lying upon the marble table. 
Arwed hastily run his eye through the written prom- 
ise, and subscribed his name to it ; upon which the 
two officers, who had hitherto guarded the door, 
immediately left the room. 

* To Gyllensten ! ' exclaimed Arwed, gratefully 
kissing his father's hand, ' to the loved resort of my 
childhood, to my good old uncle ! How good you still 
are, my father, even when you punish. How deeply 
do I regret that I have caused you so much sorrow.' 

' You bad boy ! ' cried the father with strong emotion, 
pressing him to his bosom. ' And if I pardon jo\x 
every thing else, I will not pardon you for depriving 
yourself of the power of serving your father-land, 
whose efolden aofe is lust commencinsf.' 

' May heaven grant,' answered Arwed, ' that Swe- 
den may not soon w4sh back the departed iron age ! 
I shall ahvays think that the strong will of one only 
ruler can direct the government more consistently and 
happily, than the constantly divided opinions of the 
four and twenty little kings who are now to rule the 
country, even though you yourself are one of these 
kings, my father.' 

* Silence ! you are incorrigible !' cried the old 
counsellor, drawing his son with him out of the palace. 






Directly northward, by the west coast of the gulf 
of Bothnia, through Gestrikland, Helsingiand, Me- 
delpat, and Angermannland, Arwed rapidly pursued 
his expiatory journey, until he reached the southern 
boundary of the province of West Bothnia, in which 
Nicodemus, count Gyllenstierna, the counsellor's elder 
brother, presided as governor. On arriving at the 
broad river Umea, which here empties its floods into 
the gulf of Bothnia, Arwed reined in his horse, and, 
while his groom made a signal for the ferry-boat 
stationed on the opposite side, reviewed the scenery 
which had always remained impressed upon his 
memory, and which now called up a thousand re- 
miniscences of his early childhood. To the right, on 
the sea-shore, and at the mouth of the broad stream, 
lay' the capital of the poor, depopulated province, the 
little town of Umea, to which only its harbor with 
its clustering masts, gave any importance. To the 
left arose the lofty Gyllensten, the old ancestral 
castle of the house of Gyllenstierna throned proudly 
upon its massive rocks, and bordered by a forest of 



dark pines. The broad plain which intervened be- 
tween the higher elevations and the river, exhibited 
evidence of unusual fruitfulness for these northern 
regions. The magnificent, clear, blue arch, which, 
in the west rested upon Lapland's distant snow-clad 
mountains, and in the east upon the dark mirror of 
the sea, completed the picture which nature, rich 
even in her poverty and gorgeous in her simplicity, 
offered to the eye of the observer. 

* My fatherland is every where beautiful ! ' ex- 
claimed he with emotion ; ' and this solitary nook, 
how well suited to my feelings ! Yes, I feel that 
here I can again be happy ! ' 

The ferry-boat came, and Arwed sprang upon the 
floating bridge. The groom carefully led up the 
spirited horses, which were somewhat frightened, and 
made a vigorous resistance when they heard the hol- 
low sound of their footsteps upon the boards. Arwed 
seized the bridle of his gallant steed, caressed him 
into a state of quietude, and leaning upon the glossy 
neck of the animal, extended his view over the waves 
of the stream upon which the boat was now moving 
to Gyllensten, whose old, gothic walls and towers 
were every moment more and more distinctly seen be- 
tween the lofty pines and rocks in the intermediate 

' That is the balcony,' said he to Knut, the faithful 
old boatman, * from which I and my little cousin 
Christine used formerly to watch the ships as they 
entered the port. The child will be much pleased to 


see me again. She was always very much attached 
to me.' 

' The child ! ^ exclaimed Knut laughing. ' She was 
at that time eight years old, as well as yourself, 
major. Eleven years have passed since then. Do 
you think that you alone have increased in stature 
during that long period ? The child must have be- 
come a stately young lady.' 

' You are right,' said Arwed with a melancholy 
smile, ' I have experienced so many vicissitudes lately, 
that my computation of time is a little disturbed.' 

Leaning his head upon his arm, and resting the 
latter upon his horse's saddle, he sank into a profound 
reverie. ' I shall find a grown up daughter in my 
uncle's house,' said he to himself. * Possibly a right 
beauteous maiden, with whom my near relationship 
must bring me into familiar intercourse. Did this 
really enter into my father's plans ? Did he hope 
that I should here sever old ties and form new ones ? 
If so, he has deceived himself! But one Georgina 
blooms for me in this world ! while she lives, lives 
also my hope, and the mere remembrance of her is 
sufficient to steel my heart against the attractions of 
all the women upon earth.' 

The sudden shock with which the boat struck the 
shore aroused the youth from his contemplations. He 
threw himself upon his horse and briskly trotted 
towards Gyllensten. When he had reached its base, 
and was slowly riding up the st^ep and rocky ascent, 
a little flag, displaying the golden star, the escutcheon 


of Gyllenstierna, suddenly waved from the pinnacle 
of the tower. Two falconets then exploded so briskly 
to the right and left from the walls, that his horse 
made three powerful leaps ; and a flourish of trumpets 
and kettle drums followed. 

' Is it possible that this can be intended for me ? ' 
— and putting his horse to a quick gallop, he soon 
sprang through the high gothic arched gateway into 
the court of the castle. Again was heard a merry 
trumpet blast, a window of the castle hall was 
opened, and a massive silver goblet was extended 
towards the new comer by the old governor. 

' Welcome, brave Swede !' cried he joyously to the 
guest below ; * welcome to Gyllensten ! Down from 
your horse and come up and pledge me in the hall of 
our forefathers ! ' 

Arwed, obeying, soon entered the long, high- 
vaulted, echoing knight's hall, in whose niches on 
either side of the worthy old Gyllenstierna, stood colos- 
sal statues, in complete armor chased in copper. The 
shining metal reflected upon him the last rays of the 
setting sun so brightly, that he was compelled to 
protect his eyes with his hand from their blinding red 

Meanwhile the uncle, who was afflicted with the 
gout, had trundled his movable chair toward his 
nephew. ' Aha ! ' exclaimed he, laughing, ' the old 
lords shine a brilliant greeting upon thee, as they 
should upon so worthy a descendant of their house. 
So is it also my duty to do ; and if I do not perform 


it with quite so much grace, the fault must be at- 
tributed to this rascally gout, which rages in my 
bones as if the Avhole Eussian army were marauding 

Arwed, kissing the old count's hand, protested 
against all ceremony ; the latter, however, would 
not be persuaded, but slowly raised himself from his 
chair, suppressing the pain it gave him, until he 
stood upright before his nephew. His purple velvet 
cap, from under which his thin white locks escaped, 
his sharply delineated, intelligent, good humored, 
and withal bold face, which the lines of age and ex- 
perience had but ennobled, his tall and powerful 
frame, set off with an ermine-lined green hunting 
dress, altogether gave him the appearance of one of 
the old Norman princes of long forgotten times, — 
and Arwed involuntarily started back before the noble 

' My dear nephew ! ' said the old man with his 
deep and thrilling voice, and holding aloft the silver 
goblet with solemn dignity, ' once again I welcome 
thee to the castle of our ancestors, and from this 
goblet I drink to thy welfare and to our common 

He drank, and then handed the goblet to the youth, 
who, after draining it, tenderly embraced his worthy 
uncle. Sinking back into his chair, the old man 
pointed to the window, where stood a table replen- 
ished with wine and drinking cups. 


Arwed wheeled him to it, and, sitting down, filled 
his goblet afresh. 

' Now, what news do you bring, captain ? ' asked 
the uncle with a hearty shake of the hand ; ' or 
perhaps a yet higher title — hey ? ' 

' I am dismissed, with the rank of major,' answered 
Arwed, with a slight shrug of the shoulders. 

' I understand,' cried the uncle. ' Punishment and 
reward, wound and balsam, all in a breath. One 
may see by this, that a woman governs in Sweden. 
She holds to the doctrine according to the excellent 
German proverb, of washing the fur without wetting 
it. With Charles XII you would not have escaped 
so easily ! All that has occurred redounds to your 
credit, and the ' out of service,' attached to your 
rank of major, is as honorable to you as would be 
the order of the seraphim.' 

' Where is cousin Christine ? ' asked Arwed, to 
interrupt his uncle's praises, which covered his 
cheeks with blushes. 

' She rode out to meet you,' answered the old man. 
' I should have accompanied her, but my gouty feet 
forbade it. The king's death and my anxiety for its 
consequences, have so pulled me down that I came 
this time very near going, and shall never entirely 
recover from the shock. I cannot imagine how the 
maiden could have missed you.' 

' May she not have met Avith some accident ? ' 
cried Arwed apprehensively. ' I will mount my 
horse again and seek her.' 


' Do not trouble yourself,' said his uncle smilingly, 
and holding him back. ' She is no timid maiden, 
who needs protection. She is a virago, who can take 
care of herself in every exigence. Beasts of prey 
and robbers fear her, not she them. Besides, she is 
not alone. A military comrade of your's accompanies 

' A military comrade of mine ? ' asked Arwed with 
astonishment. ' Who can it be ? ' 

* That I may the better enjoy your surprise, I shall 
not name him to you. He is a good soldier, — so 
much I will say for him, - — and especially valued by 
me as a witness of the heroism of our king. We 
made his acquaintance when I was at the coronation 
at TJpsala with Christine. Appearing to feel an 
interest for the maiden, he has availed himself of 
the short truce to obtain a furlough, and will spend 
some weeks with us. You will be much pleased 
to meet him. He speaks of you with great respect, 
and has related to us your warlike deeds in so vivid 
a manner that we feel as though we had been present 
during their performance.' 

^ Singular ! ' said Arwed, - — and at that moment 
the rapid footsteps of a horse resounded in the court. 
He hastened to the window. A slender maiden, 
almost as tall as Arwed himself, in a dark green 
riding-habit, her face partly concealed by a plumed 
casque, was just then reining in her foaming courser. 

* Send to the wolf den in the cluster of fir-trees to 
the left of the road, and bring the venison which lies 


there,' said she to the groom who was running- to 
meet her; then, throwing herself from the saddle 
with the grace of a riding-master, and with her hand 
wafting a greeting up to the windows of the hall, 
she hastened into the castle. 

' You will hardly recognise the girl,' said the 
uncle. * She has much changed, and not altogether 
according to my wishes. Men are incapable of rear- 
ing and educating women properly, as I have learned 
too late.' 

The amazon now entered the hall. The removal 
of her casque, which she held in her hand, permitted 
a full view of a blooming face of classic beauty, 
which her rich golden locks surrounded like a glory. 
A bold spirit flashed from her magnificent blue eyes, 
and her cheeks glowed with the heat of violent 

Without noticing Arwed she strode hastily past 
him, and, precipitating herself upon her father's 
bosom, impetuously embraced him. 

' Madcap girl ! ' said the latter with evident pleasure, 
to his beautiful and lively daughter ; ' do you not 
see who is with me in the hall ? ' 

She drew up her beautiful form to its full height, 
and measured the youth with a searching glance, in 
which no expression, other than that of maiden pride, 
accompanied by a slight appearance of displeasure, 
was discoverable, and Arwed looked in vain for that 
joy with which he had expected to be received by 
his little cousin Christine. 


* Is not this the guest whom you have been ex- 
pecting, my father ? ' she asked, after a long pause, 
— and, as her father nodded assent, she turned to 
Arwed, saying with great coldness, ' I am happy to 
see you at Gyliensten, captain.* 

' Shame upon you, Christine ! ' said the old man, 
angrily. * Is that a reception for so near a kinsman, 
or for the playmate of your childhood ? Fall directly 
upon his neck, give him a hearty kiss, and say, 
welcome cousin Arwed ! ' 

The beauteous prude started back- with a sinister 
expression, and, spoiled by indulgence, she suffered 
it to be plainly seen that she had no desire to obey 
the parental command. 

* Do not annoy my cousin, uncle,' said Arwed, 
offended by her uncourteous manners. * Christine 
may already have seen many fops who have availed 
themselves of their relationship to intrude upon 
ladies. Since I have not the honor to be known to 
her, I cannot blame her for thus taking care to insure 
herself against so disagreeable an occurrence at the 

Christine tossed her head and bit her lips. 

' You have deserved this,' said her father, ' and 
may congratulate yourself that your cousin has let 
you off with so mild a punishment. Tell us now 
how it was you failed to encounter him on his way 
to the castle.' 

' We saw a wolf in a thicket,' answered Christine, 
' and I could not deny myself the pleasure of hunting 


' Only two of you — without hounds ? ' said the 
father with asperity. ' That was another of those 
hazardous undertakings to which you have accus- 
tomed me.' 

' He appeared to be hungry and made a stand,' 
said Christine, by way of excuse. ' My saddle pistols 
were ready loaded, and I hit him directly in the 

' You know I do not like these Nimrod tricks,' 
murmured the old man. ' Why hazard your life in 
a contest with such an animal ? ' 

' What would life be, father,' cried Christine with 
thoughtless levity, * if one never dared gaily and 
joyfully to hazard it ? ' 

* I would willingly hear such a sentiment from 
Arwed,' answered her father, shaking his head ; 
' but it does not sound well from your lips. What 
has become of your companion ? ' 

* On our way back, he offered me a wager,' said 
Christine, laughing, * as to which of us would be 
first at Gyllensten ; I gave my horse a loose rein, and 
have not seen the good colonel since.' 

' You ought to have been a Cossack,' said the old 
man chidingly ; and at that moment a Swedish officer 
entered the now darkening hall, 

* Megret ! ' exclaimed Arwed with amazement. 

* You have lost, colonel ! ' cried Christine, to the 
new comer. 

* A second Thalestris,' answered Megret, gallantly 
kissing her hand. ' I yield myself in disgrace to 
your mercy. Once have I ridden with you upon a 


wager, but never will I again ! Though, at all 
events, I know how to ride, I have never yet learned 
to fly.' 

' I have the pleasure to present my nephew to you, 
colonel,' said the governor, interrupting them. 

' What a happy encounter ! ' said Megret, pretend- 
ing to derive much pleasure from the meeting, and 
embracing the youth. ' How delightful it is to me, 
to greet my dear brother in arms, in a kinsman of 
this dear family ! ' 

A sensation of the deepest disgust oppressed 
Arwed's bosom at the embrace of the insincere and 
suspected man. He could not so far control himself 
as to repay the dissembler in the same coin, and only 
answered with a silent bow. 

' As we shall probably have the pleasure of seeing 
you here for a long time, my worthy friend,' said 
Megret, jestingly, and familiarly pointing to Chris- 
tine, ' you will consider it the friendly service of a 
true knight when I warn you against this lady.' 

' How so ? ' asked Arwed, and Christine satirically 
added, ' the colonel probably wishes to inform you, 
how inexhaustible is his fund of sweet phrases, 
which mean nothing and which he himself does not 

' How beautiful she is,' continued Megret gaily, 
* I need not remark to a blooming youth like you. 
Her mind, nourished by the manna of the old classics, 
is a giant that would find its pleasure in storming 
heaven, and yet she does not lack the graces. 


Whenever she is in the humor to be amiable, she is 
irresistible. In short she has every quality requisite 
to set a man's heart in a flame, and yet I advise 
every brave man to guard against her, watchfully, as 
against something which is at the same time the most 
beautiful and dangerous in all the three kingdoms of 
nature, — for one all-important quality she lacks ! ' 

' Now this is enough ! ' suddenly exclaimed Chris- 
tine, in a tone of great irritation. 

' She lacks a heart ! ' continued Megret, laughing 
and without suffering himself to be interrupted. 
' She can only wound^ not heal. She is a female 
Charles the Xllth. She holds the amiable weakness 
of loving in utter detestation, and if Hymen does 
not perform a miracle upon her, the epitaph must 
some day be inscribed upon her grave-stone, which 
England's Elizabeth desired for herself — Here rests 
the virgin . . . * ' 

' Shameful ! ' exclaimed Christine in anger, and 
striking a heavy blow upon Megret's cheek, the 
amazon disappeared. 

' The girl is mad ! ' exclaimed the governor. ' Ex- 
cuse the impropriety, colonel ; you shall receive full 

' Never mind, governor,' answered Megret with a 
courtly smile and rubbing his cheek. 'A cavalier 
must be content to receive the like from a lady's 
hand. I shall occasionally take opportunities to 
revenge myself upon the little savage.' 

' The table is served,' announced the steward, and 


two huntsmen placed themselves behind the wheeled 
chair of the lord of the castle. ' Follow me, dear 
gentlemen and friends/ cried the old man, and then, 
commanding" his men to move him forward, he led 
the way to the dining room. 

Megret, however, remained behind, still rubbing 
his flaming cheek, and conceitedly smiling at his own 

' I am glad you take the ill-behaviour of my cousin 
so lightly,' said Arwed ; * but I wonder at it, almost 
as much as at the blow itself, struck so suddenly, 
and without sufficient cause.' 

* It is even that,' said Megret, interrupting him, 
' which makes me so tolerant. An entirely indifferent 
person would not have caused so violent a passion. 
A girl like her must be allowed to behave somewhat 
rudely when she is angry. That is perfectly as it 
should be. If she supposed that my penetration had 
discovered her feelings, my jest must have been 
considered by her as a bitter mockery. Under these 
circumstances I take the angry blow as a declaration 
according to the custom of the country, and have 
only to regret that the ladies of the north have such 
heavy hands.' 

He proceeded towards the dining-room. * Happy 
self-conceit ! ' cried Arwed, following him ; * to what 
may not thy genius give a favorable construction ! ' 


In the dining room, innumerable dishes were 
already smoking upon the supper table as Megret and 
Arwed entered ; yet the governor was sitting at the 
sideboard, in accordance with an old Norman custom, 
amusing himself with the favorite Swedish preliminary 
to a good meal, knakebrod and whiskey. Occasionally 
he cast an impatient glance towards the door. * Where 
is my daughter ? ' asked he of a servant, who had just 

' The countess is ill,' he answered, ' and begs you 
will receive her apology for not being able to appear 
at the table.' 

' This is another of her whims,' said the old man 
angrily, ' of which she has more than my Polish 
charger. Go again to her, Rasmus, and say, I 
command her to be instantly well, and to come and 
preside at the table.' 

Megret advanced to speak a kind word in behalf of 
the capricious beauty — but the governor motioned 
him back, and the servant departed. 

Christine soon made her appearance, her eyes cast 


down and her face glowing with displeasure. She 
silently took her place by her chair, and motioned to 
the persons present to seat themselves. 

' Before we are seated,' said her father, sternly, ' the 
affair between you and the colonel must be adjusted. 
You will ask his pardon.' 

' Spare me, my father ! ' implored Christine. ' If 
the colonel requires satisfaction I will exchange shots 
with him; but sooner may you drive me from the 
castle than I will ask the pardon of any man upon 

' Que Dieu m'en garde ! ' cried Megret laughing. 
* Your eyes are accustomed to hitting and wounding 
men's hearts, and you would have a manifest advan- 
tage over me. A blow from so beauteous a hand can 
as little inflict dishonor as the knight-creating stroke of 
a king's sw^ord upon a victorious battle-field.' 

* You have more luck than understanding,' remarked 
the governor, at the same time causing himself to be 
conveyed to the table. For the future, however, I 
shall expect that you will not forget the treatment 
which is due to thy father's worthy guests.' 

The maiden submissively kissed her father's hand 
and took her place on his left ; Megret seated himself 
on his right, and Christine nodded to Arwed to sit by 
her ; but he went round the table and seated himself 
by Megret. 

Christine observed this movement with great sur- 
prise. * I love free conversation at the table,' Avhis- 
pered he smilingly to her, * and have no helmet to 
protect me.' 



' Insufferable ! ' murmured she, and in her anger at 
his unsparing irony, filled her father's goblet so full, 
that the good old burgundy overflowed and colored 
the exquisite damask table cloth. 

Her father was again reproving her for this new 
impropriety, when the servant announced sir Mac 
Donalbain, and Christine started with a look of min- 
gled joy and alarm. 

' He is heartily welcome ! ' cried the governor, and a 
tall, well built man, about thirty years old, entered the 
hall. He wore a short, green overcoat with copper 
buttons. At his broad leather girdle, in which two 
pistols were inserted, hung a broad sabre, and in his 
hand he carried a double-barrelled gun. His sunburnt 
face was not regularly handsome, but the spirit and 
boldness which characterized it, rendered it interest- 
ing. The wild black eyes, however, which peered 
from under his dark brows, and a few wrinkles on his 
forehead and about his mouth, gave him a grim and 
disagreeable expression. Arwed, who glanced now 
at him and now at the polished Frenchman, compared 
the two, and came to the conclusion that he was not 
in the very best of company. 

' Whence do you come so late, sir Mac Donalbain ? ' 
kindly asked the governor. 

' I have been hunting in the Asele Lappmark,' an- 
swered the guest, laying aside his weapons and boldly 
seating himself near Christine. ^ I had got belated, 
and the light of your hospitable castle shone so 
invitingly that I concluded to ask of you entertainment 
for the night.' 


' This worthy Scot is in a certain sense a brother 
sufferer of yours, dear major, in so far as the death of 
our king has destroyed his prosperity as well as 
yours. He had the assurance of an advantageous post 
in our army, made a long journey to come here, found 
his hopes annihilated by the death of the king, and 
for the present lives upon his income, at Hernoesand, 
awaiting better times.' 

' Singular ! ' remarked Megret, whilst the brother 
sufferers bowed silently to each other. ' I was lately 
at Hernoesand, and could hear nothing of you there, 
although I took particular pains to find you.' 

' I reside there no longer,' answered Mac Donalbain, 
not without some embarrassment. * A difficulty which 
I had there, induced me to remove to Arnaes.' 

' A difficulty ? ' asked Megret, smiling. ' I am 
sorry for that. I hope it was not with the public au- 
thorities ? ' 

' One readily perceives, colonel,' interfered Chris- 
tine, with bitterness, ' that you are a foreigner. In 
hospitable Sweden, such questions are not allowable, 
even from the host himself, much less from one guest 
to another.' 

' Why so excited, countess ? ' asked Megret with 
his customary cold smile. * If sir Mac Donalbain 
will not or cannot answer my question, I shall be con- 
tent. He has my sympathy, notwithstanding; and, 
in my journey back to Stockholm, I should be pleased 
to go round by Arnaes to take personal leave of him.' 

' However agreeable that might be to me,' said Mac 


Donalbain equivocally, ' I must yet by anticipation 
regret that probably you would not meet me. The 
amusement of the chase is my passion, and I am 
almost always abroad.' 

' So it appears,' said Megret with a piercing glance, 
and, turning to the governor, he commenced a conver- 
sation with him, respecting the preparations for war 
making by Denmark and Russia, which threatened 
poor Sweden anew. Arwed Avho took a part in this 
discussion, could not forbear casting an occasional 
scrutinizing glance at Mac Donalbain, who had com- 
menced a low and apparently interesting conversation 
with Christine. He saw how the dark eyes of the 
Scot flashed upon the angelic countenance of the maid- 
en, saw how the latter regarded her wild neighbor 
with a mixture of fear and anger, of passion and 
aversion, and he thought, * what a pity it would be, 
if this beautiful and innocent creature should have 
thrown away her heart upon such a man ! ' 

The table was at length cleared. Megret and Mac 
Donalbain bade their host good night and went to 
their chambers. Christine kissed her father with 
humble tenderness, and in a low voice asked him, * are 
you still angry ? ' 

* Amend yourself, perverse girl,' said the old man; 
and gently parting the golden locks from her fair 
forehead, impressed upon it an affectionate parental 

' My kind, kind father ! indeed I do not deserve so 
much love,' cried the maiden, with deep emotion, 


pressing his hand to her heaving bosom. She then 
arose and departed, giving an unfriendly glance and 
a slighting nod as she passed Arwed. He also wished 
to seek his bed ; but his uncle drew him into a chair 
near him and filled his goblet again. 

' You must help me finish the last bottle, major,' 
said he. 'I have not at all enjoyed your compan}' yet, 
and must say to you once more, now we are alone, 
how dear you are to me. Truly you have come to my 
house in a good hour ! and I hope at some future time 
to have much to thank you for.' 

' How mean 3"ou that, dear uncle ? ' asked Arwed, 
with some surprise, and partly anticipating the point 
to which the old man was leading. 

' Why should I dissemble Avith you ? ' burst forth 
the old man. ' Your father, indeed, gave me long 
and broad instructions at Upsala, how I should conduct 
myself toward you ; but this spying and tacking and 
managing may be all very proper in the royal council, 
and yet not with so clear and honorable a Swedish 
mind as yours. Therefore, short and round, 3^ou are 
the right man for my Christine, — you or none.' 

' I, dear uncle I ' answered Arwed, laughing. * The 
commencement of our renewed acquaintance did not 
seem like it.' 

' That indeed, I observed with regret,' confessed the 
uncle. ' But who regards women's humors, which 
change as quickly as the fashion of their garments. 
Bucephalus was a wild and vicious horse, and yet he 
found his man who knew hoAv to manage him.' 


' That was the great Alexander, however,' replied 
Arwed, continuing the jest. * I have not vanity enough 
to put myself on a par with that hero ; and, even if I 
were compelled to attempt the one or the other, I 
should rather undertake the taming of Bucephalus 
than of my fair cousin.' 

* She is headstrong,' sighed the uncle ; * that, alas J 
I must myself acknowledge ; I, her father, who have 
permitted her to grow up without proper restraints. 
But, nevertheless, I believe you would succeed in 
rendering her submissive. You have, to-day, said 
such things to her as she has not been accustomed to 
hear. Because she is handsome, every one who has 
seen has flattered and indulged her caprices, and, in 
that way, she has been spoiled. You will let nothing 
pass without its just comment, I see plainly. She 
w4H consequently at first fear, and then respect you, 
and, after that, between people of your stamp, love 
will find its way of itself.' 

' It occasions me much regret,' said Arwed with 
sudden earnestness, 'that lam compelled to inter- 
pose an insurmountable obstacle to the accomplish- 
ment of a hope which, in the fulness of parental love, 
you so feelingly express. But, in this case, unreserved 
candor is the holiest duty. My heart is no longer 
free, good uncle, and my choice is made for life.' 

' Your father has already made me acquainted 
with that affair,' answered the uncle fretfully ; ' but I 
did not suppose that foolish passion, which can hardly 
endure long, could reasonably interpose any obstacle. 
The dau^fhter of an executed criminal . . . . ' 


' An innocent offering at the shrine of contemptible 
party interests,' said Arwed, with great vehemence, 
interrupting him ; * truly a martyr to his honesty and 
to the gigantic plans of his king.' 

* And as your father says,' continued the uncle, 
' the maiden has herself given you up and bidden an 
eternal farewell to Sweden.' 

' She was compelled by the necessity of satisfying 
her own conscience ; but that cannot release me from 
the performance of my duty. So long as Georgina 
lives, so long shall I continue to hope, and truly will 
I keep my troth.' 

* Such troth is senseless,' answered the uncle, sup- 
pressing his emotion. '• However, there is something 
in your constancy which pleases me. Do as you will. 
I hope at any rate, you will place so much confidence 
in me as to believe that I would not urge my daughter 
upon you, in opposition to your feelings. I am firmly 
persuaded, however, that the affair will gradually 
work itself right. Rank, figure, affinity, wealth, all 
fitting. By heaven ! you were created for each other 
or no couple ever were. Sleep before you determine. 
As for the rest, what has been said upon these matters 
must remain within the walls of this room — to that 
promise give me your hand.' 

Arwed gave the required pledge. The governor 
rang for his attendants, bade Arwed good night, and 
was rolled to his sleeping room. 

* This is a strange entanglement in which I shall 
henceforth be obliged to act ! ' said Arwed to himself. 


while the servants were waiting at the door, with 
branched silver candlesticks, to show him to his room ; 
* Georgina and myself — I and my uncle, and Chris- 
tine — and Christine and Megret — and Mac Donal- 
bain and Christine ! — and this Megret and Mac 
Donalbain, who again appear to stand in hostile con- 
stellations ; and I, who, as I already foresee, shall at 
some future time be compelled to encounter both of 
them — this Mac Donalbain who appears to me like 
the serpent in paradise endeavoring to seduce the 
poor innocent, foolish mother of mankind. This 
Megret I — ah, this Megret I I will go to bed. God 
preserve me from wicked dreams.' 


The hunting bugle-call and the baying of hounds 
awoke Arwed from his morning slumbers. As he 
opened his eyes they were greeted by the imaged orb 
with which the rays of the morning sun announced 
its rising, glowingly and tremblingly reflected from 
the bosom of the sea. Arwed sprang from his bed, 
threw his cloak over his shoulders, and raised the 
window to enjoy the beauty of awakening nature. 
In the court below, the huntsmen, horses and hounds 
were moving about with loud and joyous tumult, 
and old Knut, who had saddled Arwed's black 
charger, was now leading him from the stable. 

' By whose command is this ? ' asked Arwed of 
the man below. 

' The countess Christine ! ' cried Knut. 

' Lead him back to his stall and take the saddle 
off,' commanded Arwed. ' I shall not ride this 

Shaking his head, the faithful servant obeyed, and 
at the same moment the door was thrown open and 
his beautiful cousin, whose fresh charms almost 


outshone the morning's splendor, entered his room 
in her hunting dress. 

* I am going upon a bear hunt,' said she in a 
more friendly manner than on the preceding evening. 
' Will you accompany me, cousin Arwed ? ' 

' I am much obliged to you,' answered Arwed, ' but 
I prefer remaining in the house.' 

Christine started, apparently surprised and per- 
plexed by a cold refusal which she had not anti- 
cipated as possible. ' Perhaps you are not fond of 
this kind of chase ? ' she satirically asked, 

' Yes ! ' answered Arwed, quietly ; ' but not in 
your company, cousin,' 

'Now, I confess I ' — cried Christine, making a 
powerful effort to suppress the last part of the 
sentence which was at her tongue's end. 'May one 
venture to ask, wherefore, major ? ' 

' Oh yes, one may venture, countess,' answered 
Arwed, ' and I will most willingly respond to the 
question. I do not like to see women pursuing 
employments unsuited to their sex. The riding and 
hunting and baiting and shooting of ladies, always 
excites in me intolerable displeasure.' 

' That is nothing but the quite common pride and 
selfishness of your sex,' said Christine with bitter- 
ness, ' which would have our's always feeble that 
you may the more easily keep us under the yoke.' 

' Woe to you, poor women,' exclaimed Arwed, 
laughing, ' if you had no better defence against our 
imperiousness than your physical strength ; you would 


every where come off the worse. Nevertheless, 
countess, your sex is more powerful than you helieve 
it. Your most powerful talisman is your womanhood; 
and it is a bad exchange, when you give it up for 
the fame of a rifleman or hussar.' 

^ Give it u'p ? ' repeated Christine with great ex- 

' Nothing less,' answered Arwed. ' To override 
horses, to chase and kill animals, is a rough business. 
A man may pursue it without suffering in his 
character, for nature has destined him forcibly to 
oppose its hostile powers by contending with them 
for his safety and his food, — and, in doing so, 
he but fulfills his destiny. More tender and delicate 
woman has other duties. God created women to be 
the proteges, the tender companions of men, to soften 
and ennoble their fierce and intractable natures, and 
to be the loving mothers and guardians of their 

' Silence ! ' cried Christine, angrily. 

' All the peculiar qualities, however, which natu- 
rally belong to you,' continued Arwed pleasantly, 
seizing Christine's hands and holding them fast, as 
if he feared Megret's fate, ' all, and they are the 
noblest which adorn your sex, must be lost in the 
masculine woman, and she will be very fortunate 
if she preserve the purity of her soul, which is in 
great danger, when the restraint of modest, maidenly 
customs is once thrown off.' 


Christine started with a sudden shudder. Tears 
burst from her beautiful eyes, and she withdrew her 
hands from his. 

' What is the matter, cousin ? ' he exclaimed, with 
deep sympathy. 

' You despise me, Arwed ! ' sobbed the maiden. 

' What an unfortunate idea ! ' answered Arwed. 
' Whoever fears the contempt of another, feels that 
he deserves it, and that can never be the case with 
the countess Christine.' 

' You are right ! ' exclaimed Christine, with a firm 
tone, applying her handkerchief to her eyes to 
remove all traces of her tears, and proceeding to the 
window to cool her flushed face in the morning air. 

' You will not accompany me to the chase, then ? ' 
she finally asked, as if nothing had occurred between 

' No ! ' answered Arwed. 

' Then I will also remain at home,' said she ; and, 
calling to the servants from the window, she directed 
them to give over their preparations, as she was 
indisposed ; after which she threw herself into a seat 
opposite Arwed. 

' This chase was in reality only devised to obtain 
an opportunity for an undisturbed conversation with 
you,' said she, ' and that object can be attained as 
well here. My father has had a bad night and 
now sleeps soundl}- .' 

' Well, speak on I ' answered Arwed, placing him- 


self in a listening attitude. ' If what you wish to 
say be something good, it will give me great pleasure 
to hear it.' 

' Not altogether good,' said Christine, casting her 
eyes upon the floor in great embarrassment. 

' So I should imagine,' answered Arwed. ' The 
feelings you have manifested toward me since my 
arrival have not been of the most friendl}^ kind.' 

'By heaven, Arwed, you do me injustice!' ex- 
claimed Christine, springing up and holding out her 
beautiful hand to him. * My feelings are as kind 
toward you now as formerly, when we, two joy- 
ous children, sought shells together on the beach ; 
and I would be on yet better terms with you ; only 
you appear not to desire it.' 

' How do you mean ? ' asked the ingenuous Arwed, 
who understood his cousin but too well. 

' In one word,' she suddenly exclaimed, ' my father 
destines my hand for you, and I shall be compelled 
to oppose his determination.' 

' That is indeed no very flattering communication,' 
said Arwed. ' It explains the unmannerly reception 
you gave me, however. It was nothing but your 
fear of my tenderness ; but as you know your father's 
intentions, so you should also know the impediments, 
on my side, in the way of their accomplishment. I 
love another maiden.' 

' That I knew,' said Christine, ' but I was afraid 



' That your cousin's truth would not be able to 
withstand these powerful attractions,' said Arwed 
completing the sentence for her. ' You are either 
very vain of your charms, beauteous cousin, or have 
made acquaintance with very bad specimens of our 

A deep sigh escaped from the oppressed bosom of 

' Now, so long as I remain here,' continued Arwed, 
' it shall be my most anxious endeavor to restore my 
sex to your good opinion. In the first place I shall 
quiet your apprehensions by the assurance, that my 
heart is entirely filled by a distant and beloved object, 
— that I shall never become troublesome to you as a 
suitor, — and that I will decline the proposed con- 
nection with so much decision, that the anger of our 
parents shall fall entirely on myself. I would love 
you as a brother should love a sister ; but I would 
also be allowed the brother's right to tell you the 
truth whenever I may think it necessary to your 
welfare, — would counsel you, — warn you . . . . ' 

' Yes, Arwed, be my brother ! ' cried Christine, 
with a convulsive pressure of his hand. ' Ah, that 
you could always have been so ! ' 

' By this, however,' said Arwed, ' I must consider 
myself as having acquired some claim to your sisterly 
confidence. I am glad to know that you can feel no 
other sentiment for me, as it would give me pain to 
be compelled to reject your heart as well as your 


hand. But I cannot possibly believe that your cold- 
ness extends to the whole sex. That, indeed, would 
be still more unnatural than your horse-racing and 
bear-hunting. No, no ! your heart is not insensible. 
The glance of your eye, like the diamond, now flash- 
ing fire, and now dissolving in crystals, has already 
revealed it. You know what it is to love ! ' 

' You afliict me cruelly, cousin ! ' cried Christine, 
holding her hand before her traitorous eyes. 

' Confide in me,' entreated Arwed, affectionately 
withdrawing her hand from her face. ' Go back 
with me to the times of our happy childhood, when 
we mutually imparted all our little secrets, when we 
laid our hearts before each other like open books. 
Let me once more read in yours : who is the man 
of your choice ? ' 

' You shall read it, Arwed,' cried Christine ; ' by 
heaven you shall read it ! But not now, — only not 

' Why not now ? ' urged Arwed. ' The present is 
precisely the right moment. Your heart is now 
softened and open. Pour it out towards me before 
caprice and false shame shall again harden and close 
it. Name the man of your choice to me, and take 
my word that I will honestly do whatever I can to 
promote your happiness. Surely, Christine can have 
no reason to be ashamed of her choice ! ' 

' Pity me ! ' cried she ; and, again bursting into 
tears, she fled from the room. 


' Strange ! ' said Arwed, looking after her. * The 
maiden is not at peace with herself; that is evident 
from the violence and eccentricity of her behaviour. 
There is a wounded spot in her heart which smarts 
at the least touch. Pray heaven it be not Mac Don- 
albain ! It would be a pity for so magnificent a 


Arwed had soon become accustomed and reconciled 
to his exile at Gyllensten. Excursions among its 
environs under the pretext of hunting, afforded him am- 
ple enjoyment of the beauties of nature and free scope 
for the play of his imagination ; and these, together 
with the business of the governor's bureau, in which, 
at his own request, he was permitted to take a part, 
occupied his days ; while the evenings were employed 
in reading to the family circle, and in playing chess, 
a favorite game vrith his uncle. Thus, by means of 
constant and varied occupation, the time passed rapidly 
and pleasantly at the solitary castle. Meanwhile 
Megret, who had already obtained two extensions of 
his furlough, continued to besiege the heart of the fair 
Christine, and to submit with patient resignation to all 
the caprices by which that eccentric maiden chose to 
prove the constancy and perseverance of her adorer. 
He vras, indeed, almost the only one at Gyllensten 
who had to suffer from them ; for Arwed, true to the 
brotherly character v/hich he had assumed, did not 
spare his beautiful sister, and every instance of arro- 


gance in which the unevenness of her humor led her to 
indulge, was quietly though earnestly reproved, until 
she was oftentimes brought to despair. These little 
quarrels usually ended with tears and supplications 
on the part of Christine, which were so touching that 
it required all the influence of Georgina's memory 
and the conviction of Christine's secret love for another, 
to cool his youthful heart to that degree of circum- 
spection necessary in his peculiar circumstances. Mac 
Donalbain's frequent visits to Gyllensten, moreover, 
seemed to exercise a great and unhappy influence upon 
the disposition of the otherwise so lovely maiden. 
During his presence she exhibited a constant excite- 
ment which immediately after his departure changed 
to a deep melancholy, out of which she emerged only 
to torment all who would suffer themselves to be tor- 
mented by her, with her caprices. From her father 
she concealed the state of her feelings as much as 
possible, and if it occasionally occurred to him that all 
was not as it should be, the business of his oflice, in 
consequence of the critical situation of the country, 
prevented his looking too deeply into the affairs of his 
household or his daughter's heart ; and Arwed, though 
Christine still remained indebted to him for her prom- 
ised confidence, could not bring himself to betray her 
to his uncle. 

In this manner the summer had arrived, when one 
evening at the supper table, in Megret's and Mac 
Donalbain's presence, the governor asked Arwed if 
he had a desire to see a natural curiositv, to visit 


which Charles XI did not hesitate to make a long 

Arwed joyfully assured him that he regarded the 
wonders of the natural world as a spectacle, in compar- 
ison with which the greatest efforts of human ingenuity 
were of little value, — and that it was, indeed, one of 
his favorite occupations to contemplate them. 

' The Tornea-Laplanders have lately made many 
complaints to me,' said the governor. ' They complain 
especially of the collectors of the royal taxes, and of 
the excesses of the Finlanders, attracted within their 
boundaries by the chase. Since my gout has left me, 
I will myself ride to Tornea, to examine and adjust 
all these affairs upon the spot ; and have selected the 
longest day in the year for that purpose. It is their 
court day, and also the day of their annual fair, which 
collects together the inhabitants of the whole country 
surrounding Tornea ; and we can at the same time 
enjoy the rare and beautiful spectacle of the sun, 
which on this day does not set at all, enabling the 
king of Sweden in a certain sense to claim the same 
honor of which the sovereign of Spain and the Indies 
makes his boast.' 

' I thank you heartily for offering me this rare en- 
joyment,' said Arwed, and Christine timidly requested 
to be allowed to make one of the party. 

' Certainly, if it will afford you pleasure, and you 
prefer going with us to staying at home,' answered 
her father significantly. 'We have for some time 
past become somewhat strange to each other, without 


my being able to guess precisely what is the cause 
of it.' 

Christine cast a melancholy and complaining glance 
upon her neighbor, Mac Donalbain, and Megret eagerly 
begged to be added to the company. 

' Your society is always agreeable to me,' answered 
the governor. ' How stands it with you, sir Mac 
Donalbain ? ' he kindly asked the Scot, * will you 
also be of our party ? Eich as your Scotland is in 
natural wonders, 3^ou cannot see this spectacle there. 
Scandinavia is the only country of Europe which 
exhibits it, with the exception of poor Iceland, which 
hardly deserves to be regarded as belonging to our 
part of the world.' 

' I do not know when you intend to undertake the 
excursion,' answered Mac Donalbain with some em- 

' We start to-morrow morning at day-break,' an- 
swered the governor. 

' My engagements will not allow me to join the in- 
teresting expedition so soon,' said Mac Donalbain. 
' It is barely possible that I may so manage my affairs 
as to be able to meet and pay my respects to you at 

' It must be a strange business,' said Megret, 
' which prevents your accompanying us, and at the 
same time permits you to meet us at the end of our 

' I do not consider, colonel,' cried Mac Donalbain, 
with a look of deadly hate and a low bow to the 


scoffer, ' that I am under any obligation to account to 
you for my business, or the manner in which it is 

' By no means, sir Mac Donalbain,' answered 
Megret, returning his bow ; ' I am not one of the 
police-officers of this province, and have no official 
inducement to trouble myself about your pursuits.' 

' Death and hell ! what mean you by that ? ' ex- 
claimed Mac Donalbain, springing from his seat,- — 
but Christine pulled him down again and anxiously 
whispered to him some words of entreaty. 

* Forget not, gentlemen,' cried the governor in an 
authoritative tone of voice, * that you are both my 
guests, and that it does not become you to quarrel 
upon my hearth, where you have both been freely 
welcomed. I esteem you both and would resign the 
society of neither, but I have a right to demand 
that you respect this castle, and seek a more suitable 
place for the indulgence of the secret enmity which 
you appear to bear toward each other. This time, 
colonel, you are in the wrong. I regret to be com- 
pelled to say to you that, if sir Mac Donalbain took 
your remark somewhat too sharply, yet you gave 
occasion therefor by the scornful tone in which it was 
made. Therefore you owe it to me and to him to take 
the first step toward a reconciliation ; and you cannot 
be considered my friend, if you refuse to drink the 
health of this noble Scot, which I now propose.' 

A struggle was now seen in the proud Frenchman, 
between the hatred he bore his enemy and the respect 


due from him to the father of Christine. He cast a 
tiger glance upon Mac Donalbain, which was met by 
one equally fierce, and not being able to come to a 
determination what to do, he waited in moody silence, 
neither accepting nor rejecting the goblet offered to 
him by the governor. 

' Do you hesitate ? ' earnestly asked the governor. 
' As yet neither of you has said any thing to the other 
which can be considered injurious to the honor of a 
gentleman. This is only a misunderstanding, which 
must be completely reconciled. If you refuse this, 
^''ou thereby confess an intention to offend sir Mac 
Donalbain, and it will become my duty as host to 
resent it as if the offence were intended for me,' 

Megret seized the goblet, ' The lord of this castle,' 
said he with suppressed rage to Mac Donalbain, ' calls 
3^ou a noble Scot. As I have not the pleasure of an 
intimate acquaintance with you, I am willing to con- 
sider the statement which has so noble a voucher as 
true, and upon that supposition I drink your health.' 

' I receive the toast and return it w4th as much 
sincerity as it was offered,' answered Mac Donalbain, 
emptying his glass. 

The governor, observing that the anger of the two 
belligerents still remained, in spite of the constrained 
and ambiguous reconciliation, thought it prudent to 
give the signal for retiring. 

' That we may be able to start early in the morning,' 
said he, rising, '_I hope my worthy guests will excuse 
me if I break up the sitting earlier than usual. I intend 


to seek my bed betimes, that I may be the better pre- 
pared for the fatigues of the journey, and therefore 
wish you a good night.' 

' I shall have the honor to be at the door of your 
carriage by sunrise, ready for the journey,' said Me- 
gret, bowing and retiring. 

' As I must start this evening for Arnaes,' said Mac 
Donalbain, * allow me to wish you a pleasant ride. 
At Tornea I hope to meet you again.' 

He departed with a significant glance at Christine, 
who followed him out, and Arwed was left alone with 
his uncle. 

The governor remained some time in a deep reverie^ 
rubbing the wrinkles from his forehead, which as 
constantly reappeared there, and finally asked Arwed : 
' what think you of our two guests ? ' 

' You must long since have observed that neither of 
them is particularly agreeable to me. Being your 
guests, I would have said nothing against them ; but 
since you expressly ask my opinion, I will give it 
honestly : they appear to me like two wolves engaged 
tooth and nail in fighting for a noble deer. God grant 
that the victim may save herself during the contest, 
and both the monsters have an empty reckoning.' 

' Your comparison appears to me to be overstrained ; 
you may not, however be wholly wrong. As soon 
as I return from Tornea I will adopt different measures. 
I begin to think it would have been better had I done 
so at an earlier period. Good night.' 


The rising sun of the next morning found every 
one busy at Gyllensten, and the travelers prepared 
for their excursion. Christine, who had hoped to fly 
in advance of the rest of the company on her swift 
dun courser, was compelled to take a seat in the 
carriage with her father, who feared his gout, and 
her noble horse was led after her by the domestics, 
who accompanied the expedition in another carriage. 
Arwed and Megret, with their grooms, were in the 
saddle. The company set forth in a northerly direc- 
tion, having the gulf of Bothnia on their right, and 
the mountains of Lapland on their left, passing the 
stations Beygde and Skelleste until they arrived at 
the little port of Pitea, which, yet poorer than Umea, 
lay at the mouth of the Pitea Elf. There, with the 
relay horses, six Swedish dragoons, furnished by the 
bailiwick and led by the sheriff, marched up with 
drawn swords to perform escort duty for the remain- 
der of the governor's journey. 

* Wherefore trouble these people, Mr. Sheriff?' 
said the governor. ' The road is safe, as far as I 


know, and for that reason I took no escort with me 
from Umea.' 

' For some time past/ answered the sheriff, ' a 
band of robbers have beset this neighborhood. Two 
well planned and successfully executed burglaries, 
in quick succession, have created much alarm ; and 
yesterday, a man who attempted to travel to Tornea, 
was found slain upon the road between here and 

* And you have yet made no effort to apprehend 
the perpetrators of the deed ? ' asked the governor 
discontentedly. ' If the police do their duty such 
transgressors cannot long escape the vengeance of 
the laws.' 

' The waste and desolate condition of that region,' 
said the sheriff by way of excuse, ' facilitates the 
flight of the robbers and renders pursuit difficult. 
The inhabitants of the scattered houses and small 
hamlets fear to seize a single robber while their 
helpless situation exposes them to the vengeance of 
the whole band, which numbers thirty men. Their 
leader is called Black Naddock, and always has his 
face colored black when he goes out upon his preda- 
tory excursions.' 

' You must cause strict search to be made,' directed 
the governor. * Write to the sheriff of Umea, in my 
name, for as many men as he can spare. Until they 
arrive you must do the best you can with your 
dragoons. They need not accompany us. We are 
numerous and used to danger. Should the robbers 


venture to attack us, we should suffer less from the 
encounter than they.' 

He entered his carriage and the whole company 
continued their route, still in a northerly direction, 
by the little town of Lulea, where the greater and 
less Lulea Elf roll their mingled waters into the sea, 
until they arrived at Ranea, where the gulf of Bothnia 
forms an angle and the road turns off to the east. 
So far nothing had occurred to justify the apprehen- 
sions of the sheriff, and the caution of the travelers, 
which had hitherto kept them in close companionship, 
that they might be ready to aid each other, began to 
relax. Megret, whom Christine jestingly accused of 
riding near the carriage not for hers but his own 
safety, had angrily ridden forward; and Arwed, 
giving way to his own reflections, had turned into a 
fir-wood on the left, in which he followed a foot-path 
leading toward the north. He might have followed 
this path for the space of an hour, when he heard 
at a distance ahead of him a sudden cry for help. 
Giving the spur to his horse, he flew in the direction 
whence the voice came. He soon came in view of 
Megret contending with four ill-looking fellows, who 
had seized his horse by the bridle and furiously beset 
him with cudgels and cutlasses. 

' However little he may deserve it,' said the youth 
to himself, 'one must help him in his extremity!' 
and, with a pistol in his left, and a drawn sword in 
his right hand, he rushed into the fight. This attack 
called the attention of the ruffians from Megret, who, 


taking advantage of the circumstance, recovered his 
bridle and made off with all possible speed. 

Angry at the escape of their prey, the robbers 
now fell upon Arwed. The latter, having fired and 
missed, soon had full employment for his sword and 
the activity of his horse, in keeping off the ruffians, 
who attacked him on all sides, and appeared to be 
well accustomed to such combats. He made an 
attempt to wheel his horse suddenly to the right and 
thus make an opening for escape ; but here two 
other men, who by their appearance belonged to the 
gang, met him with well aimed rifles. 

*I could have wished a more honorable death,' 
he murmured, and at that moment a tall man in 
a green hunting dress sprang from a neighboring 
thicket. A red plume waved from his hat, and 
his face was black as a Moor's. He spoke some 
angry words in an unintelligible jargon to the 
robbers, upon which they immediately abandoned 
Arwed and disappeared in the bushes, and the 
Moor motioned to Arwed to depart. 

'Thanks, captain!' said Arwed, rejoiced at this 
unexpected rescue, and pushing forward, he soon 
found himself upon the highway. 

There he met Megret, with both of their servants, 
coming to seek for him. ' Here you are, then ! ' said 
Megret out of breath, ' and, as I hope, not wounded, 
I should never have forgiven myself if you had been 
injured in rescuing me ! ' 

* God be praised that you are alive, Arwed ! ' cried 


the beauteous Christine, flying to meet him upon her 
favorite dun courser, and her blue eyes flashed upon 
him so affectionately as to cause a fluttering at his 

' You see, major,' said Megret flatteringly, * how 
instantaneously all were hastening to your assistance.' 

* Your promptness is worthy of all thanks, colonel,' 
answered Arwed ; ' but your help would have been 
of little service to me had I not been so fortunate as 
to make the acquaintance of Black Naddock. His 
command caused the fiends by whom I was hard 
pressed, to vanish. Had he not appeared most 
opportunely, you would in all probability have found 
only my dead body.' 

' That would indeed have been purchasing the 
safety of a man who could leave his preserver in 
the danger which had been incurred for his sake, at 
too dear a rate,' remarked Christine, with bitterness. 

Megret did not notice the sarcasm, as at that 
moment he was begging of Arwed, with singular 
eagerness, that he would describe the personal ap- 
pearance of the robber-captain. 

' He was a tall, well made man,' answered Arwed, 
* about Mac Donalbain's size, in a hunting dress, well 
armed, and with a black face.' 

* But the features of that face ? ' asked Megret, 
anxiously. * Bore they no resemblance to any you 
have heretofore seen ? ' 

' Really ! ' answered Arwed with a smile, * I did 
not give myself time to examine the blackamoor. In 


leaving him with all convenient haste I did what 
you surely will excuse, as you set the first example 
of a resort to the spur.' 

' You ought to have shot him down ! ' continued 
Megret venomously, ' and then we should have been 
no longer in the dark with regard to his identity.' 

' At the moment when he had just saved my life ? ' 
asked Arwed, with earnestness. ' Surely, that cannot 
be your true meaning, colonel ! ' 

* The countess is fainting ! ' screamed old Knut, 
spurring his horse to Christine's side, and catching 
the pale maiden in his arms. 

' Fainting ! such a heroine fainting upon so slight 
an occasion ! ' sneeringly remarked Megret. ' There 
must be some especial and secret cause for it ! 
Whether that cause rides here upon the highway, or 
skulks there in the woods ? — that is the question.' 

Arwed, who had listened in silent wonder to 
Megret's observations, which were wholly unintel- 
ligible to him, had in the meantime ridden to the 
other side of Christine, and there assisted Knut in 
supporting the poor girl in her saddle while they 
slowly returned to the carriage, from which the 
governor had taken the horses in order to send the 
coachman to the belligerents, as a reinforcement. 

'Thank heaven, it is not necessary I' cried he, 
glancing at Arwed, and, extending his hand, he 
affectionately exclaimed, ' my brave son ! ' 

' We bring you a patient,' said Arwed, lifting 
Christine from her horse, wuth Knut's assistance, and 
placing her in the carriage by her father's side. 


' Yes, no dissuasion could prevent it,' answered 
the governor. ' She would go. She has had her 
way, and I am glad the unmanageable girl has for 
once been compelled to yield to the weakness of 
her sex.' 

At this moment Christine opened her eyes. Her 
glance at first fell upon Arwed with inexpressible 
tenderness. She then shrunk and trembled as 
though her soul was subdued by some horrible 
fear. Terror and dismay were depicted in her 
features, and she hid her face in the bosom of her 
astonished father. 


The sun of the longest summer day shone brightly 
in the horizon, as the governor and his companions 
approached Tornea, the end of their journey, and the 
meanest among the (so called) cities of West Bothnia. 
It lies near the boundary of East Bothnia, upon the 
delta of the united rivers Tornea and Muonio, whose 
waters here again divide into two branches before 
falling into the gulf of Bothnia, The little place, 
with its towers, its handsome shops, and green shaded 
walks, nevertheless presented itself under a very 
pleasant aspect in the clear sunshine. In the city 
itself, however, the whole population of West Bothnia 
and its Lapponian districts appeared to have been 
concentrated, and in . the streets and public square 
swarmed and pressed the joyous multitude, who were 
pouring in to obtain a redress of their grievances, to 
be relieved from their taxes, to buy and sell, and to 
enjoy themselves in so numerous a company. The 
thick-set and bold Finlanders, with flat yellow faces 
and dull gray eyes, their thin beards and dusky yellow 
hair, in their short coats, dome-shaped caps, and fur- 


trimmed half boots — the timid, short Laplanders, 
with their broad brown faces, large mouths, blear 
eyes, and dark brown hair, with their leather coats 
reaching to their knees, their small caps, and pointed, 
fur-trimmed sandals, — all were here, — bringing wuth 
them fat cattle, venison, sheepskins, bearskins, fish, 
reindeer cheeses, utensils carved from wood, reindeer's 
horns, and pine bark meal, in great quantities, for 
sale. Here came the wife of one of the poor fishermen 
of Lapland, in her high conical cap, turning out of 
the way for the reindeer upon which the wives of 
some of the rich mountain Laplanders proudly flaunted 
by, in their curved conical head-dresses. There, a 
Laplandish burgher-maiden ostentatiously displayed 
herself in her fine cloth dress, decorated with silver 
buttons from the girdle to the feet, as was the black 
bodice, and also rendered stiff and unbending with 
buckles and spangles. High over these rather dimin- 
utive figures towered here and there the majestic 
forms of the blond natives of Sweden, who were 
moving about like giants among a race of pigmies. 

The travelers alighted before the door of the sherifi^'s 
residence, and the governor immediately entered upon 
business, which crowded upon him like the unceasing 
rush of the storm-lashed waves. Megret, with a few 
internally muttered oaths, was seeking Christine, who 
had disappeared from his view soon after their arrival, 
and Arwed remained standing at the house door, 
amusing himself with watching the confused crowd 
in the public square- While he was thus employed, 


a sudden movement occurred among the living masses, 
as if an island of human heads was forming in one 
particular spot. Arms, with and without clubs, were 
ever and anon raised above the thickly crowded heads, 
and a confused cry arose, in which Arwed soon plainly 
distinguished the words, ' stop him ! stop him ! ' The 
next moment a man in a green hunting dress rushed 
from the square towards the door of the sheriff's house, 
ran by Arwed with such impetuosity that he came 
near throwing him down, and hastily entered the room 
where the governor was holding his official sitting. 
While the astonished Arwed was looking after the 
fugitive, a Lapland village constable (or magistrate) 
came puffing and blowing from the same direction in 
the square. A dozen other Laplanders followed in 
his wake, armed with hunting spears, oars and cudgels. 
With the timidity to which the oppressed are early 
accustomed by their oppressors, the little constable 
looked up to the tall Swedish warrior, took off his cap, 
and with cringing humility asked him if he knew 
what had become of the green-coat who had just 
before fled into the house. 

* Impossible ! ' cried he, as Arwed pointed towards 
the session room ; ' how could such a thievish fox seek 
refuge in the tent of the huntsman ? Not that I in 
the least doubt the truth of your intimation, noble sir,' 
added he, courteously, ' but Enontekis must have 
mistaken the man, and he cannot be the one whom 
we seek.' 

' He is the same,' asseverated one of the Laplanders ; 


' I have marked the features of his face but too well, 
and should know him among a thousand.' 

' So then we must pluck up fresh courage,' said the 
constable in a very dispirited tone, ' and request an 
audience of the gentlemen within. Come with me, 
Enontekis, to enter 3^our complaint ; and you others, 
guard the door, that this beast of prey may not escape.' 

The two Laplanders entered the session room. 
Arwed followed them with highly excited curiosity. 
The first object that met his eye was the huntsman, 
whom he now for the first time recognised as Mac 
Donalbain, in close and friendly conversation w4th the 
governor. While he was vainly endeavoring to find 
the key to these singular occurrences, the constable 
and his companion, afraid to speak aloud in the pres- 
ence of their superiors, were disputing in vehement 
pantomime, the former denying and the latter affirm- 
ing, although with constantly increasing uncertainty 
and anxiety. Finally, the constable approached the 
bar and slightly touched the arm of the sheriff. 

' With your leave, respected sir,' asked he, as the 
latter turned toward him, ' does the stranger huntsman 
there enjoy the acquaintance of the lord governor?' 

' So it would seem,' answered the sheriff, ' as the 
governor has just now invited him to dinner.' 

At that moment the governor shook the Scot kindly 
by the hand, and the Laplander started back in affright. 

' Do you not now" perceive that you must have been 
blind ? ' whispered he to the good Enontekis. * My 
God ! what trouble might I not have prepared for 


myself through my zeal for the discharge of my official 
duty ! To follow a friend and guest of our most noble 
governor as a criminal ! But happily the gentlemen 
have not perceived us, and we cannot do better than 
to make a speedy retreat.' 

With anxious haste he drew his somewhat reluctant 
companion out of the room. Meanwhile Mac Donal- 
bain had taken his leave of the governor, and now 
quickly, but with a courteous greeting, dashed past 
Arwed, who followed him to the door of the room. 
There he saw him cast a wild glance toward the 
crowd assembled before the front door, and then turn 
off to the right toward the back door, which opened 
into the garden. The constable was standing there, 
engaged in a warm dispute with poor Enontekis, who 
was still unsatisfied that he could have been mistaken. 
Their armed followers, whose thirst for battle did not 
appear to be very strong, were standing solemnly 
around them. Mac Donalbain stood for a moment 
regarding the group as if considering what course to 
take, and then marched boldly up to his pursuers. 

' Out of the way, Laplanders ! ' thundered he, 
hurling them to the right and left ; and in this manner 
he passed through the assemblage and disappeared. 

' That was very uncourteous, sir Swede !' cried the 
terrified constable after him when he had got out of 
hearing. ^ We call ourselves Samolazes, and not 
Laplanders. Our enemies only call us so, when they 
wish to insult us ; but we poor people are treated 
justly nowhere upon earth, and must be patient under 


all our injuries until we appear before the final juag- 
ment seat I ' 

The tone of the little man grew constantly weaker 
and weaker during this speech. Weeping, he went 
forth ; weeping, Enontekis followed him ; and sobbing 
and wiping their eyes, the twelve warriors followed 

' What can all this mean ? ' Arwed asked himself, 
as he returned to the session room. 

* Mac Donalbain,' observed he to the governor, 
' appeared to seek you with great haste ; had he any 
very important favor to ask ? ' 

' Not that I know of,' answered the governor. ' He 
came here only for a moment, to fulfill his promise 
that he would greet me at Tornea. He was obliged 
to decline my invitation to dinner because of an 
engagement with a hunting party.' 

* Has Mac Donalbain been here ? ' asked Megret, 
hastily entering the room. 

' But a moment since,' answered Arwed, ' and he 
cannot now be far off. What do you wish of him?' 

* A crowd of Laplanders,' said Megret, ' are seeking, 
with spears and poles, in all the streets of Tornea for 
a huntsman, who, according to their description, can 
be no other than Mac Donalbain ; and I should be 
very happy to place the noble gentleman before the 
good people, so that I might learn precisely what they 
want of him.' 

' We shall probably find him in the garden,' answered 
Arwed, and they hastened there together. But the 


garden was empty. * Incomprehensible ! ' exclaimed 
the sheriff, who had followed them. ' The garden 
gate leading to the street is closed, and I have the key 
with me.' 

' Not so incomprehensible as you may suppose,' 
rejoined Megret, pointing to a hedge-row by the 
garden wall wl^ose freshly broken and trampled 
branches plainly showed that some one had recently 
clambered over them. 

' Your pardon, sir ojfhcer,' stammered the sheriff, 
examining the damaged hedge, ^ that is still more 
incomprehensible, -^ for what could have induced the 
gentleman to climb over the wall, and thus do me so 
great an injury ? ' 

* That, master sheriff,' answered Megret, ' is to me 
most comprehensible, if I am right in my suspicions.' 

'What do you mean by that ?' asked Arwed ; but 
Megret, who was busily examining the marks of injury 
upon the hedge, did not hear him. * So the weasel 
has escaped me,' said he, grating his teeth; 'but, by 
my honor, he is lost if he again venture into my snare.' 



* The royal taxes were raised, the constantly recur- 
ring laAvsuits of the Finns and Laplanders about pas- 
turage, the chase and the fishery, were settled in some 
way, by power and with mildness, the sun was ap- 
proaching the horizon, and the hum of the crowd in 
the market place grew fainter and fainter. 

* My business is finished,' said the governor to Ar- 
wed, ' and it will soon be time to view the spectacle 
for which you have given yourself the trouble to come 
here. Seek Christine. We shall set out immedi- 

Arwed searched the house, garden, and the whole 
of the little town, without being able to find her. As 
he was returning in the ill humor naturally conse- 
quent upon his want of success, he was met by the 
sheriff's little daughter. 

' Perhaps you can tell me, my child,' he asked, 
' where I can find the governor's daughter ? ' 

The little thing gave him an arch look and placed 
her finger on her nose. ' That indeed can I,' answer- 
ed she ; ' but I know not whether I may venture to do so.' 


' I will answer for it that you may,' Arwed jestingly 
assured her. * I am a messenger from her father — ' 

' And possibly for that reason I may not. Fathers 
must not be allowed to knoAv every thing. The 
countess told me that, should a handsome slender man 
in a green hunting dress ask for her, I might direct him 
where she was. Now you are indeed handsome and 
slender, but the green dress is wanting.' 

* Who knows if she will be able to see the green 
coat to-day,' answered Arwed significantly. ' Lead 
me to her. Perhaps she will be willing to receive, for 
once, a blue coat instead of the green.' 

' Well, at your own risk ! ' cried the child, leading 
him by some deserted passages through the house and 
garden into the open fields, where the waters of a 
meandering stream glistened among the trees in the 
evening sun. 

' She is there behind that thicket of alder bushes 
upon the border of the stream ! ' whispered the child. 
* Good success to you, sir officer ! ' and she ran back 
to the house. 

* Even at the north pole,' said Arwed, proceeding 
forward, ' the sex indulge in amorous intrigues, and 
promote those of others when they have none of 
their own.' He came to the bushes, and was not a 
little astonished w^hen, instead of Christine, he beheld 
a Finnish peasant girl, who sat angling on the bank 
with her back towards him. But the disguise was 
soon betrayed by the beauteous golden locks of the 
girl, and the deep reverie into which she had fallen, — 


and he silently approached through the bushes, that 
he might surprise his fair cousin. 

The latter discovered by the slight movements of 
the foliage that some one was approaching ; but, pre- 
tending not to have remarked it, she sang in her 
sweetest tones a Finnish song, in keeping with her 
assumed character. The words were as follows : 

Oh ! if the dear and only loved 
Might by some magic art appear, 
Though on his mouth the wolfs blood hung, 
My lips should kiss its beauty clear ! 
Though round his hand a serpent's coil 
Envious, had twined its venom'd ring. 
Would not all-powerful love defy 
The danger of the reptile's sting ! 

Why lacks the wind a fervent soul 
Like that which glows within my breast ? 
Why lives not language in its sigh ? 
Then could it speed my fond request ! 
Then, truant, then the whisp'ring breeze 
Thy thoughts might interchange with mine ; 
And, faithful carrier, swiftly bear 
The throbbings of this heart to thine ! 

' Poor maiden ! ' sighed Arwed with fearful misgiv- 
ings. * God grant that the man thy heart has chosen, 
drip only with the blood of the wolf, that the serpents 
of hell be not coiled around the hand which thou 
wouldst press so tenderly in thine ! ' 

Meanwhile Christine, having ended her song, lis- 
tened a moment, and then turning towards the thicket, 
exclaimed, * tease me no longer, Mac Donalbain, it is 
you — I hear your breathing.' 


' The lover hears acutely, but not always rightly,' 
said Arwed advancing. ' It is only the breathing of 
your insignificant kinsman.' 

' My God, what have I done ! ' shrieked the terrified 
Christine, covering her face with her hands. 

' Lost the secret,' answered Arwed * that you once 
promised to confide to me. I am indebted to accident 
for what I now know, and not to your confidence.' 

' Can that be any excuse for your betraying me ? ' 
asked Christine, grasping his hand and searching 
deeply into his soul with her beautiful blue eyes. 

' Do I look like a betrayer ? ' asked Arwed, indig- 
nantly withdrawing his hand. ' The knowledge of 
what I only conjectured till now, at least authorises 
me to exercise the fraternal right which you have 
conceded to me, and earnestly to warn you against this 
Scot, who, by the mildest judgment, is only an adven- 
turer. Even if the garb in which you have to-day so 
strangely clothed yourself did actually belong to you, 
you could not hope to derive any especial honor from 
such a connection ; the countess Gyllenstierna degrades 
her rank and reputation when she throws herself away 
upon a suspected vagabond.' 

' Then cast I from me both rank and reputation,' 
cried the maiden, with the defiance of desperation, 
* and retain the garb which brings me nearer to him, 
and in which I am allowed to love him.' 

' Has it gone so far with you, cousin ? Then indeed 
must this masquerade have some secret object, and 
you were at least willing to try, how it would become 


you against the time when it may be adopted for life. 
There is too much meaning in this, and I should but 
discharge the duty of a guest and kinsman by informing 
your father of the affair.' 

Christine gave the youth a piercing glance, and 
sprung upon a rock which jutted out far over the 
stream. ' Give me 3^our word of honor, Arwed,' cried 
she from her place of refuge, ' that you will remain 
silent to every one upon this matter, or I will instantly 
throw myself into the stream.' 

' What madness ! ' cried Arwed, advancing to take 
her from her dangerous situation. 

' Back ! ' screamed she wildly. ' The first step you 
take toward me shall plunge me in a cold and watery 
grave. By my mother's ashes, I will keep my word ! 
In any event life has henceforth no joy for me.' 

' Well, come down ! ' cried Arwed, angrily ; ' by 
my honor I will be silent.' 

' Thanks, thanks 1 ' said Christine descending ; ' you 
are a Gyllenstierna and will keep your word. And 
now, nothing more upon this unpleasant subject. Let 
us return to our companions. My disguise is a jest I 
played off upon you. Do you understand me, Arwed ? ' 

' Perfectly ! ' answered the latter ; and, troubled by 
the cloud hanging over the maiden's fate, as w^ell as 
vexed that he had taken upon himself the thankless 
office of confidant, he gave his arm to the beauteous 
Finlander, and they proceeded back to the house in 
moody silence. 


At ten o'clock in the evening, which, however, 
was no evening there, the whole party found them- 
selves assembled in the church of Tornea. The 
governor was standing near the altar in earnest 
contemplation of a suspended tablet which narrated 
in golden letters how Charles XI had observed the 
midnight sun from the tower of that church, in the 
year 1694. At the same time the pastor of the 
church, a venerable old man, was calling the atten- 
tion of Christine to a medal which had been struck 
upon that occasion. Looking over her shoulder 
Arwed read the inscription : Soli inocciduo sol ohvius 
alter ^ — and asked if this metaphor were not too 
much in the oriental style for Charles XL 

' Charles XI,' answered Megret, approaching the 
group, ' left to his son a throne well supported at 
home and respected abroad ; with a full treasury, 
and many flourishing provinces, besides the heredi- 
tary states. How happy w^ould it have been for 
Sweden had his son been willing to rest contented 
with the glory of having preserved his paternal 


The uncle and nephew simultaneously turned 
towards the speaker, with noble indignation, to 
defend the character of their adored king against 
his foreign traducer ; — but before they could find 
words, the pastor, accustomed to speak in that house, 
and stirred by the occasion, took the answer upon 
himself. * The judgment,' cried he, in his deep, 
resounding voice, * which you have passed upon our 
immortal king is as unjast as it is harsh. You 
forget that his first wars were purely defensive ; that 
even his victories, which rendered Sweden illustrious 
in the eyes of all Europe, involved him in circum- 
stances which at last brought misfortunes upon his 
head. You judge him by the situation in which he 
left his realm when God removed him from it in the 
bloom of manhood, and entirely overlook what he 
would have accomplished for Sweden had he been 
allowed time for the fulfilment of his designs for her 
prosperity. It is a sad truth that the country now 
finds itself on the brink of misery ; but far be it from 
us to complain of our immortal king, on that account. 
Let us rather curse the murderous villain whose 
bullet ended that great man's life before Fredericks- 
hall ! Him, him alone, has the kingdom to thank 
for its calamities ; and may all the tears and blood 
which have flowed since that black night, and which 
must flow hereafter, be poured into the balance of 
his sins, until he may sink down to the regions of 
everlasting torment, overborne by their weight I ' 

* So you are one of those,' said Megret, with 
embarrassed mockery, * who, from your passion for 


the romantic and marvellous, will have it that no 
man of consequence can die except by assassination ! 
In consequence of the rashness with which the king 
exposed himself to the fire of the enemy, it would 
rather have been matter of astonishment had he 
escaped alive. The balls flew so thick, that the 
agency of assassins was not necessar}^ to account for 
his death.' 

' I have my convictions ! ' cried the pastor, in the 
heat of his indignation, ' and those convictions are 
neither to be sneered nor subtilized away ! God, 
however, who proves the heart and the reins, must 
pass judgment upon the concealed guilt, and punish 
the murderer according to his deserts — here, through 
the worm that never dies, and there, in the fire that 
is never quenched ! Amen.' 

' You are pale, colonel ! ' cried Arwed, suddenly 
giving Megret a searching look. * Are you ill ? ' 

'I was heated when I entered the church,' answered 
Megret in a faint voice, placing his hand upon his 
forehead ; ' and this place seems to me to be very cold. 
I feel as though suffering from an ague fit, which how- 
ever a few moments in the open air will dissipate.' 

He retired with uncertain steps. All followed him 
with looks of surprise and inquiry, and a long pause 

' Is it now your excellency's pleasure,' said the 
pastor to the governor, ' to ascend the church tower 
and thence, like Charles XI, observe the circular 
course of the day-star ? ' 


'I thank you, sir pastor/ answered tKe governor. 
' I have abeady looked me out a place upon the level 
ground, where we can better enjoy the beauties of 
nature together with this rare spectacle, than from so 
high a point of view, and you will do me a pleasure 
by accompanying us.' 

The pastor accepted the invitation. The party left 
the church, and, without encountering Megret on 
their way, entered a boat in readiness for the occa- 
sion, and were conveyed to a small island which 
appeared to swim in the stream, opposite the town of 
Tornea. A solitary house, surrounded by some small 
huts, and a wind-mill, stood near the landing-place. 
The travelers, ascending, laid themselves upon the 
bank, their faces turned towards the sun, and silently 
enjoyed the view, at once attractive and awful, there 
presented to them. 

The still, clear waters of the Tornea and Munio, 
upon which white fishing sails were gliding here and 
there, blushed in the rays of the evening sun, and were 
adorned on either side by high bushy banks. In the 
middle ground, the city, w4th its spires, was sweetly 
reflected in the peaceful waters. The back ground 
was closed by bare and sterile heights which were 
linked into each other like a chain, and concealed the 
opening through which the united streams rolled on 
in their course toward the sea. 

At the edge of the horizon, behind the city, shone 
the nocturnal sun with rays that with difficulty 
dissipated the vapors collected by the evening air, 


as the forerunners of a night, which, on this occasion, 
was not permitted to make its appearance. The 
illumination had something dismal about it, for the 
magnificent sphere seemed to have lost the substance 
of its splendor as at the time of an annular eclipse, 
and threw but a pale light upon land and water. 
The silence of death prevailed over the face of all 
nature. The mills upon the height behind Tornea, 
as well as that upon the island, were standing still, — 
the bewildered birds had flown to their roosts, — and 
the w^hole less resembled an actual world, than a 
landscape in a magic glass, lighted by a magic sun, 
which lacked the powerful life of nature. Meanwhile 
Tornea's church bell tolled the midnight hour. 

' Great and wonderful are the works of the Lord ! ' 
suddenly exclaimed the devout pastor ; ' and he, who 
considers them aright, has great pleasure therein.' 

' I also adore the great Creator in the exhibition of 
his terrors,' said Arwed. ' But I must acknowledge 
that the silent, friendly, and dusky star-lit night of 
my own Upland, is dearer to me than this wonderful 
day. A sun which seems always to approach its 
setting, and yet never sets, but remains mournfully 
suspended between life and death, is in truth no 
joyous sight.' 

' An image of my poor native country ! ' said the 
the governor, soliloquising. 

' And of my fate ! ' whispered Christine, almost 
inaudibly, as she leaned her weeping face upon Ar- 
wed's shoulder. 


At this moment a row-boat from Tornea approached 
the island. Megret sprang out of it. ' Despatches 
from Umea I ' cried he. * The courier appeared to 
come in great haste ; wherefore I took it upon myself 
to bring them directly to you.' 

' You bring me nothing good,' said the governor, 
forebodingly, as he hastily opened the letter. ' As 
I conjectured ! Let us start ! We must this night 
commence our homeward journey.' 

' In heaven's name, father, what is the matter ? ' 
asked Christine, in sympathy with her father's alarm. 

' The Danes have invaded Bahuslehn,' answered 
the governor ; * the Russians have landed in Upland. 
Unless God perform miracles in our favor, Sweden 
is lost. Let us hence to Umea.' 


As Arwed entered the castle of Gyllensten he was 
met by old Brodin, who, with a face highly expressive 
of sorrow and condolence, bowed to him in silence. 

' What do you bring me, old honesty ? ' asked 
Arwed, with alarm. ' Not sad news, I hope ? How 
does my father ? ' 

' The lord counsellor's excellency,' answered Bro- 
din, ' is as well as could be desired, and sends his 
kind regards to you. I am charged with an impor- 
tant commission, for the execution of which I must 
beg a private audience.' 

' It concerns Georgina ! ' cried Arwed, with a 
sudden presentiment, and without awaiting Brodin's 
answer he led him into his private chamber. * Now 
speak ! ' cried he with vehemence. ' I am prepared 
to hear all.' 

' Were you a weak-nerved lady,' commenced 

Brodin, slowly drawing a letter from the pocket of 

his traveling coat, ' it might be necessary to preface 

the unpleasant intelligence of which I am the bearer 



with a fitting preamble. But you are a stout young 
man, as well as a brave soldier, and therefore I 
may venture to spare you the torment of fear and 

' Silence ! ' cried Arwed, tearing the letter from his 
hand. ' It is her writing ! ' he exclaimed, breaking 
the seal, and then proceeded to read : 

* My Noble Gyllenstierna ! 

' The sympathy you continue to evince for the poor 
Georgina, blesses, while it rends her heart. Not- 
withstanding the clearness with which I explained 
myself, you are yet unwilling to consider our con- 
nection dissolved. Nothing therefore remains for me 
but to effect a last and eternal separation. I could 
have desired to spend the remainder of my life 
wedded to the remembrance of my first and only 
love ; but you have yourself rendered this impossible. 
' While I live, lives also your hope of one day 
possessing me ! ' By this resolution of your true 
heart, you have made it my duty to become dead to 
you for this world. Your father wishes to place the 
hand of his only son in that of his love-deserving 
niece, and thereby secure a continuation of the power 
and splendor of your noble house. I was the only 
obstruction to the accomplishment of this rational 
wish. I must not so continue. I could not answ^er 
to myself for destroying the welfare of a youth, 
whom I would so willingly have made happy by my 


faithful love, by my irresolution. To make you free, 
I have bound myself. To spare you the sacrifice you 
were determined to make, I have sacrificed myself. 
Since yesterday I have been the wife of a worthy 
man, whose character I must respect, and whom I 
could have loved, had I never known you. In 
his arms I may find, with the peace Avhich results 
from the performance of duty, that quiet happiness 
which can result from a marriage, in the contracting 
of which passion had no voice. May you also be truly 
happy ! May you deserve that happiness through obe- 
dience to your father's wishes ! Believe me, Arwed, 
there is something better in this life than the intoxica- 
tion of passion. I feel it in this heavy hour. Think of 
me sometimes, not only without anger, but with 
tranquil kindness, as you would of a beloved being 
who has preceded you to that eternal world where 
you hope to see her once again. I shall never forget 

' Georgina von Eyben.' 

Poor Arwed sank upon a seat as if annihilated. 
The faithful Brodin observed him with looks of the 
deepest sympathy. All at once the youth's eyes 
began to flash with savage fury. He sprung up, and, 
seizing the old man with a lion's rage, thundered 
in his ears, ' this whole affair is a fable devised for 
my deception ! ' 

' Holy Savior ! what is it you think ? ' cried the 
trembling Brodin. 


' I have read in many old tales,' cried Arwed, with 
bitter anguish, ' of pretended marriages, and forged 
letters of renunciation, by which hearts have been 
artfully torn asunder, that would else have remained 
eternally united.' 

' Why, hey, count Arwed,' said Brodin chidingly, 
' how can you so misjudge your noble father as to 
suppose him guilty of such an offence ? ' 

' I know,' answered Arwed, ' that my father con- 
siders the dissolution of my connection with Georgina 
a matter of the utmost importance. A counsellor of 
the realm stands high enough to permit himself to 
do many things that would carry a common citizen 
to a criminal's dungeon. The whole may be a 
specimen of the newest Swedish political manage- 

'Believe what you please, major!' angrily ex- 
claimed Brodin. ' The letter you have just read, I 
received from the hands of the writer, when I was 
w4th her in obedience to your father's command.' 

' Brodin ! ' said the agitated Arwed, ' you are an 
old man ! So near the grave, you will not defile 
your soul with a lie ; therefore answer me, honest 
and true, as you have been through the whole course 
of your long life — is Georgina actually married ? ' 

' By my God and his holy gospel ! ' cried the gray 
old man, solemnly placing his hand upon his heart, 
' I was myself, by her command, in the cathedral 
church of Lubec, and saw her married to the im- 
perial counsellor von Eyben.' 


' It is then true ! * sighed Arwed, again sinking 
back into his seat. 

Brodin approached, with humid eyes, to speak 
some words of consolation, — -but Arwed motioned 
him back, and the old man left the room in silent 


As Arwed was still sitting in his chamber, his 
arms convulsively folded upon his breast, as if he 
would stifle his inward grief by the outward pressure, 
with large tear-drops occasionally rolling down his 
pallid cheeks, a stranger suddenly entered the room. 
He was enveloped in a gray traveling cloak, and 
his hat was drawn down over his eyes. Stepping 
directly in front of Arwed, he threw off his cloak 
and cap. 

' Swedenborg I ' exclaimed Arwed, in a languid 

' The old Fahi??i,^ spoke the seer, ' has again most 
unhappily kept troth with my presentiments. I see 
you again in the heaviest hour of your life, as I 
expected. But what I could not have expected is, 
to see you sinking under your sorrow. It becomes a 
man to struggle manfully against this evil fiend, and 
gloriously to vanquish; not to lay down his arms 
before him, like a wounded and disabled combatant.' 

^ You have never loved !' ejaculated Arwed ; ' you 
cannot know the anguish which rends my heart.' 

' I have loved I ' exclaimed Swedenborg", with ra- 


diant eyes ; ' I yet love, and with a passion which 
shall be eternal ! Not, indeed, a perishable woman, 
but the celestial Sophiam I Would to God that you 
also would choose her for your bride. How vain and 
trifling would all the earthly sorrows which now 
afflict you, then appear.' 

' Do you know the stroke I have received ? ' asked 
Arwed, passionately. 

' I know it,' answered Swedenborg mysteriously, 
' as well as most things which concern you. Your 
image has often floated before my inward vision, and 
the spirits have often conversed with me of you.' 

' All my misery,' rejoined Arwed, * comes from 
the cold, malicious Ulrika. Her barbarity has torn 
from my brows the garland with which true love 
would have crowned me.' 

' Sweden's vassal,' cried Swedenborg with solemn 
earnestness ; ' blaspheme not Sweden's queen ! ' 

' How ! ' cried Arwed, with astonishment, ' You 
take her part ? You, who prophecied avo to Sweden 
under her reign ? ' 

* That is still my opinion,' rejoined Swedenborg. 
' But since Ulrika, by the unanimous voice of the 
people, sits upon her father's throne, she must be to 
us an object of veneration only. If she has done 
evil, she Avill not escape its punishment ; and as the 
Lord oftentimes takes care to punish the sinner 
directly in that wherein he sinned, so perhaps will 
the man for whom she has done every thing, at some 
time become an instrument of divine wrath and take 


the crown from her head to place it on his own, 
repaying her with the basest treachery.* 

' Alas, her crimes had wings,' complained Arwed ; 
' and this requital creeps snail-like after them.' 

' Know then, you, who are so eager for vengeance,' 
indignantly rejoined Swedenborg, ' that the fate of 
Sweden aids you. Your country is at this moment 
the prey of her two bitterest enemies, and Ulrika 
may soon be a queen without a realm.' 

' I had already heard of the threatened invasions 
of the Danes and Russians,' answered Arwed ; ' but 
I did not apprehend such disastrous results.' 

' They have already entered,' rejoined Swedenborg. 
' Bahuslehn is as good as conquered. Stroemstadt 
and Marstrand have already surrendered to the 
Danes ; Carlsten has by this time fallen ; and the 
Russians are raging like wild beasts in the eastern 
part of the kingdom. Norrkoeping, Nykoeping, and 
many other cities, hundreds of noblemen's seats, and 
thousands of hamlets, are already in ashes. Heaps 
of slaughtered animals infect the atmosphere ; the 
youths of our land are borne by Russian ships to 
ignominious slavery ; and, while we are speaking, 
general Lascy is moving with a strong army directly 
upon Stockholm.' 

Arwed's blue eyes flashed. His heroic form be- 
came more erect. He involuntarily grasped the hilt 
of his sword, and moved towards the door. 

* Whither would you go ? ' Swedendorg asked, in 
a kindly tone. 


' To the garden, into the free air ! ' quickly answered 
Arwed. ' It is becoming too warm for me here. 
Besides, I need solitude, that I may be able to form 
a proper determination.' 

' I know it,' said Swedenborg. * You will resolve 
as becomes you, and so, farewell. The Lord be with 
your sword ! ' 

^ We shall see each other again before I go,' said 

^ I must travel still further to-day,' answered 
Swedenborg. ' I am now going to the Nasaalpe lead 
mines. I must afterwards visit the iron and copper 
mines in Tornea-Lappmark, and in a month I must 
be on my way back.' 

' Possibly we may meet in Stockholm,' said Arwed, 
forgetting his banishment, ' and heaven grant it may 
be under better auspices ! ' 

' Quo fata traliu7it^ retrahuntque sequaviur ! ' cried 
Swedenborg with unction, and the youth hastened 

' A noble spirit I ' said Swedenborg, looking with 
complacency at his retreating form. ' It lay prostrate, 
sickened Avith love's pain and bitter hate ; and 
behold, with only two drops of that steel-tincture, 
and his country's need, its strength revives, and 
labors, and throws off the materiam 'peccant em ^ and 
his heart is as pure, and fresh, and strong, as ever 
it was. Hail to the physician of the soul, w^ho finds 
the seat of the disease ; but thrice hail to the patient 
whose good disposition aids the cure.' 


As Arwed was striding back and forth in the most 
remote and darkly shaded avenue of the garden, buried 
in his own reflections, colonel Megret met him with a 
disturbed countenance. ' Time presses,' said he with 
eagerness ; ^ I must speak openly w^ith you, major. 
That I love your cousin, you must long since have 
known — yet how fervently, you could not know. The 
delicate gallantry which we Frenchmen dedicate to the 
ladies, and the fear of affrighting or distressing her by 
the outbreaking of my passion, have thrown a veil 
over the fire which consumes me. I now confess to 
you that I could commit murder to possess her ; I must 
win her hand or die.' 

' Nevertheless, colonel, I do not understand,' an- 
swered Arwed with displeasure, ' why you confide all 
this to me^ nor why you confide it now,'' 

' The new emergencies of the war call me back to the 
army,' said Megret. * I set out even this very night. 
Meanwhile I wish to secure to myself here at least the 
statuvi quo. You love me not, major ; that I very 
well know, but at any rate you are not my rival ; 


you are Christine's near relative and a man of honor. 
Whatever you may think of me, we must agree in 
this, that Mac Donalbain is not deserving of your 

* That I am very willing to allow,' answered Arwed. 
' But, I hope, there can never be a question of such a 
connection. Had Christine l-eally a weakness for that 
man, so noble and strong a mind as hers would be 
easily reclaimed from such an aberration.' 

' You consider the matter too lightly,' said Megret 
with great earnestness. * I myself hoped and doubted 
long, and left unemployed the means at my command 
for banishing that bad man. I was indeed thereto 
prompted by that miserable vanity which induces a 
man to wish to conquer by his own merits and to scorn 
the use of other weapons. But the real state of affairs 
is now placed in so clear a light that my eyes are 
pained by it. This Mac Donalbain is a monster, and 
Christine loves him. Forbearance would now be 
madness, as the honor and happiness of this house 
hang upon a hair.' 

' And what would you do ? ' anxiously asked Arwed. 

' That shall you directly hear,' answ^ered Megret ; 
' for there, most opportunely, comes the Scot. His 
destiny leads him towards me. May I only gain 
sufficient composure to roast the villain a petit feu, 
as we call it, It would yet be some little satisfaction 
for the constant torments of jealousy for which I may 
thank him since I first sighed for the countess.' 

' Megret turned away and proceeded some steps 


down the avenue, and on his return all traits of anger 
had disappeared from his face, and a cold, smooth smile 
was substituted. Meanwhile the Scot approached 
and courteously greeted them. 

' You come just in time, sir Mac Donalbain,' said 
Megret in an apparently friendly manner, ' to enlight- 
en me upon a matter of some interest. According to 
your name and your own assurance you are indeed a 
Scot, and can give us information from the best sources 
relative to the manners and customs of your dear 

' Why not ! ' asked the Scot with a forced smile. 

* Now will you please to inform me, Avorthy sir,' 
said Megret, familiarly approaching him, ' what, in 
your highlands, is the exact meaning of the term, 
' children of the mist ? ' ' 

Starting and shrinking at this question, Mac Donal- 
bain answered only with a deadly glance. 

' They also call them * children of night,' added 
Megret in a quiet and seemingly friendly manner. 
' The terms are said to apply to those poor people who, 
at variance with the civil authorities, shelter themselves 
in rocks and caves, occasionally making excursions 
into the lowlands, plundering and burning dwellings, 
driving off cattle, now and then perpetrating a murder, 
and getting hanged at last.' 

' You speak of the robber clans of the highlands,' 
said Mac Donalbain, struggling to preserve his equa- 

' C'est cela ! ' cried Megret, nodding waggishly ; ' and 


I reckon upon your goodness for some details about 
them. It would be very interesting to me to compare 
your children of the mist with a somewhat similar class 
in this country. In Scotland, I am told, even the nobility 
do not consider it disreputable to march at the head 
of such expeditions against the flocks and herds of the 
lowlands. They make no secret of them, and hold 
the gallows to be as good a bed of honor as the battle 
field. Every country has its peculiar customs and 
code of morals. The leaders of our robber bands are 
far more delicate. They at least blacken their faces, 
renouncing the glory due to their heroic deeds, and 
wash them clean again w^hen they go into honest 

With these words Mac Donalbain's face became 
pale as death. His eyes rolled as if they would start 
from their sockets, and his teeth audibly chattered. 
At length he indistinctly stammered, ' I do not, indeed, 
understand your words ; but your envenomed glances 
are the true interpreters of your meaning. They at 
least make it clear that you intend to insult me ; and 
more is unnecessary to induce a noble Scot to demand 
instant satisfaction.' 

'It is very flattering to me, noble sir,' answered 
Megret, ' to receive an invitation to the field of honor 
from you ; but before I can accept it, you must satisfy 
me that I shall really preserve, and not lose my honor, 
by going out wdth you. My comrades in the army 
are somewhat nice in such matters, and certain occu- 


pations render a man forever unworthy a gentleman's 

^ Do you refuse to give me satisfaction ? ' fiercely 
asked Mac Donalbain, stepping toward Megret, with 
his hand, apparently grasping a weapon, in his bosom. 

Meanwhile Megret had drawn a pistol from his 
pocket, cocked it, and presented its muzzle to Mac 
Donalbain. ' One step nearer, a suspicious movement 
even,' cried he, ' and this bullet pierces your heart. 
You know the accuracy of my aim.' 

Mac Donalbain drew back, fixing his eyes upon his 
relentless enemy with a wild and vacant stare. 

' We will quickly put an end to this unpleasant 
interview,' continued Megret, with frightful coolness. 
' By all this you must perceive that I know you. 
Long since might I have denounced you to the civil 
authorities, and I have had more than one personal 
inducement to do so. Because I became troublesome 
to you, your myrmidons attempted my murder during 
the ride to Tornea, and, had it not been for the 
major's interference, would have succeeded. But 
magnanimity is the weakness of Frenchmen. You 
are pardoned, and I merely command you instantly to 
leave this castle, never to return. If I ever again 
behold you here, or within a circuit of fifty miles from 
this, the robber-captain shall be brought to justice and 
suffer the penalties of the laws.' 

Unable to speak, and with a countenance such as 
satan might be supposed to have assumed directly 


after his fall into the abyss, Mac Donalbain rushed 
forth, and Megret proceeded in triumph to the castle. 

' It is still problematical,' soliloquized Arwed, ' with 
which of the two Christine would be most miserable. 
I become more and more doubtful with regard to 
Megret. The Scot received but his deserts, although 
it is no honest man who assumes the duty of execu- 
tioner, — for no one but a finished villain could have 
taken such pleasure in stretching his victim upon the 

His uncle now hastily approached him from the 
castle, with an open letter in his hand, and a face 
expressive of delighted anticipation. 

' Have you spoken with old Brodin ? ' he anxiously 

' I have,' answered Arwed ; and the recollection of 
the loss of Georgina drew a deep sigh from his bosom. 

' You are now wholly free, Arwed,' cried the uncle, 
with heartfelt love. ' May I hope that in a beloved 
nephew I may soon embrace a son-in-law ? ' 

Arwed, perceiving whither this question must lead, 
foresaw the unpleasant scene which the contest be- 
tween his uncle's will and Christine's passion would 
produce, and remained silent. 

' Do not fear,' his uncle anxiously added, ' that your 
consent will be extorted. Read this letter. Your 
father desires this union, but he leaves your will free. 
Yet should I think, that as your beloved has loosed 
the chains which bound you, you certainly would 
make some effort to gratify an old man who loves you 


with his whole heart, and knows not better how to 
secure the happiness of his only child than by placing 
her hand in yours.' 

' I gratefully acknowledge your paternal goodness,' 
answered Arwed, evasively. ' But I beg of you to 
leave me time for self-examination. My sorrow is yet 
new, and for Christine I may safely affirm that a union 
with me is very far from her thoughts. Besides, I 
need time to familiarize myself with my new position, 
and enable me to come to a decision.' 

^ I know my daughter,' cried the uncle. ' There 
was for a time something strange and adverse in her 
conduct which often perplexed me ; but in the main 
her heart is good ; and a thousand triffing things have 
convinced me that she likes you. Upon the word of 
a knight, she will not say nay ! ' 

' Consider at least the circumstances of the times,' 
said Arwed. ' The moment when Sweden is bleeding 
under the swords of her enemies, when she is strug- 
gling for her very existence, is surely no time for 
tying love-knots. Besides, I am resolved to depart 
to-morrow morning for the army. Should I come 
back after the close of the war, it will then be time to 
speak of this affair.' 

' You going to the army ! ' exclaimed the uncle, with 
astonishment. ' Have you forgotten that you have 
been dismissed the service and banished from the 
capital ? ' 

' I will serve as a volunteer,' cried Arwed with 
patriotic zeal, * in one of the lowest grades — as a 


common soldier — if it must be so. If I may not live 
for Sweden, they cannot but permit me to die for her ! ' 

' Die ! and for this queen ? ' asked the uncle. 

' What care I for the queen ? ' answered Arwed. 
' I fight for my father-land, and to protect the tomb of 
that heroic king whose life I was not allowed by fate 
to defend.' 

' Noble man ! ' cried the uncle. ' You shame me. 
The prospect of good fortune for my house caused me 
to forget the miseries of m.y country, while you are 
ready to shed your blood in the service of a govern- 
ment which has thwarted your dearest hopes. Well, 
act according to the dictates of your heart. Something 
must also be done to satisfy mine, before you leave 
us, and that even now, for here comes my daughter.' 

' Alas ! ' sighed Arwed, as the pale and trembling 
maiden slowly approached them. 

'My father, you have com.manded my presence,' 
said she, with a failing voice. 

* Arwed's beloved,' answered the governor, ^ has 
married another. He leaves us in the morning, once 
more to meet the enemies of Sweden. You know my 
wishes, Christine. He must leave Gyllensten only as 
your affianced lover ; the marriage can follow in more 
peaceable and happier times. So extend to him your 
hand and give him the troth-kiss.' 

' Oh, my God ! ' stammered Christine, wringing her 

' Why this affectation ? ' asked her father with 


'You afflict your daughter,' said Arwed, and then 
turning to Christine, ' calm yourself, cousin ! this storm 
has not been raised by me. Bound or free, I will 
never permit your heart to be constrained.' 

' Nothing is more intolerable,' angrily interposed the 
governor, * than a young knight's feigning a coldness 
towards the other sex which is foreign to his heart. 
However strong have been, or may now be, your 
feelings for Georgina, yet it has not escaped a father's 
eye that my daughter is not an object of indifference 
to you. The glances w^hich you now and then cast 
upon her when you think yourself unobserved, the 
warm interest which you take in her conversation, 
even the reproofs you often give her, have but the 
more clearly proved the state of your feelings.' 

Arwed cast his eyes bashfully down. 

* And, not to mention many other indications,' con- 
tinued the old man, addressing himself to Christine, 
' what impelled you to mount your horse so quickly 
when Megret brought us the news of Arwed's danger ? 
When a maiden breaks through all obstacles to fight 
for a young man, one may confidently swear she has 
an attachment for him.' 

' Oh, my father ! ' cried Christine in the deepest 
affliction, hiding her face in his bosom. 

' Then give him the hand which would have fought 
for him,' commanded the father, moving to lead his 
daughter to Arwed's arms. She tore herself from him. 
' I cannot ! by heaven, I cannot ! ' shrieked the 
despairing girl. 


' You cannot ? ' asked the governor, angrily. ' And 
that you are in earnest, is confirmed by your looks. 
Now, then, my daughter, give your father a reason 
why you cannot obey his will, which was never swayed 
by warmer affection than at this moment. I may bear 
the contradiction if it be supported upon reasonable 
grounds, but I am not disposed to become the play- 
thing of your caprice and obstinacy. Therefore 
answer, what have you against this union ? ' 

Christine remained silently sobbing and wringing 
her hands. 

' This silence answers me more clearly than you 
may wish,' said the governor with grave significancy. 
* It is an acknowledgment that you are ashamed of the 
cause of your refusal, and clearly explains many things 
which have hitherto appeared dark to me. These 
tears confess your conviction that your foolish wishes 
can never be realized, and save me the trouble of 
proving it to you. I spare you the reproaches your 
conduct merits. Let the past be buried in oblivion. 
Render yourself worthy of this kindness by obedience. 
Give your hand to Arwed, my daughter.' 

Christine gave Arwed an imploring look, but neither 
moved nor spoke. 

The old man knit his eye-brows. His eyes flashed, 
and he angrily lifted up his hands. ' Shall I curse 
my disobedient child ? ' he thundered in her ears. 

' Father ! ' groaned Christine, sinking to his feet, 

* No further, my uncle ! ' cried Arwed, with generous 


anger. * I should not deserve the name of a man if 
I could permit a noble maiden to be forced into my 
arms by a father's curse. The first severe word 
addressed to your daughter on my account, banishes 
me forever from Gyllensten. You have my word of 
honor for it ! ' 

* Can you withstand such generosit}^, my daughter ? ' 
asked the governor, bending over Christine with 
mingled anger, love and anxiety. 

' God is my witness,' cried the maiden, ' how wil- 
lingly my heart would reconcile itself with your desire. 
Grant me a short respite for reflection. In the morning 
you shall know my determination.' 

' Grant her the respite,' earnestly begged Arwed. 
' Overhastening is a species of compulsion.' 

The governor raised his daughter and looked sharply 
into her eyes. ' Does no artifice lie hidden in this 
request ? ' asked he with emphasis. ' Will you really 
explain yourself in the morning, openly and honestly, 
without equivocation, as becomes a noble Swedish 
maiden and my daughter ? ' 

' By the holy evangelists ! ' cried Christine, almost 
out of her senses, ' in the morning you shall learn my 
determination, and with God be the result.' 

' Respite the poor maiden for to-night,' entreated 
Arwed. ' The struggles of her soul have agitated her 
too violently, and your words were too sharp and 
heavy. Should your daughter's health give way 
under her sufferings, you would repent it too late.' 


' Go, then, Christine,' said the governor, ' and bring 
me in the morning such a decision as I may be able 
to receive.' 

Christine kissed his hand in silence, and then leaned, 
weeping, against a tree. 

' Yes ! children are the gift of heaven ! ' said the 
old man to Arwed, * and the joys they bring us are 
the best in life. But when they are given in anger, 
they become the most terrible scourges in his hands, 
through the sorrows they cause.' 

He walked slowly towards the castle, and Christine 
suddenly approached Arwed, threw her arms passion- 
ately around him, impressed a burning kiss upon his 
lips, and sobbed, ' farewell, Arwed, — do not despise 
me ! Oh that we had sooner met ! ' 

She hastened away, and Arwed found himself alone. 



The morning had dawned. The governor, with 
Arwed, had accompanied Megret down to the court- 
yard, where his horses stood ready saddled for the 
journey, and the traveler held out his hand to the 
governor to say farewell. 

' Allow me to give you a well meant warning at 
parting,' said the colonel, dejectedly. ' Suffer not 
this Scot to remain longer at the castle, — he is not 
worthy of breathing the same air with you. If you 
would know more of him, ask your nephew. He 
witnessed a conversation which I held yesterday with 
that man. My duty calls me to the tumult of war. 
Should I ever return, I shall have a request to prefer 
to your heart, and shall rely upon the friendship 
of which you have hitherto deemed me worthy, for 
its favorable reception. Commend the remembrance 
of a man who adores her to your charming daughter. 
Say to her : notwithstanding the cruelty with which 
she has refused me a last farewell, her image will 
accompany me to the field of danger and incite me 
to victory or bless me in death ! ' 


He overlooked the doubting shake of the head 
which preceded the answer the governor was about 
to make, threw himself upon his horse and rode 
rapidly out of the castle gate. 

' The evening of my life will be clouded,' said the 
governor to Arwed ; ' and already I seem to see the 
lightning flash which is to destroy my last earthly 
happiness. God's will be done ! Is Mac Donalbain 
yet in the castle?' he asked of his steward, who 
approached at that moment. 

' When he came out of the garden yesterday 
evening,' answered the steward, ' he merely took 
his gun and sporting pouch from the dining room, 
spoke a few words to the countess, and then rushed 
like a madman down the mountain. Since then I 
have seen no more of him. Something very disa- 
greeable must have happened to him, for no one 
could look upon his face without terror.' 

' You must relate to me the conversation which 
Megret had with Mac Donalbain,' said the governor ; 
and then turning to the steward he asked him, * is 
my daughter yet awake ? ' 

* All is yet still in the chamber of the countess,' 
answered the latter. 

* Let her be awakened,' commanded the governor. 
' The breakfast waits for her.' 

The steward departed, and the governor returned 
with Arwed to the lower hall. There, for a long 
time, they walked up and down the room together. 
Arwed dreaded lifting the veil under which the 


trouble Avas concealed, and his uncle, Avho remarked 
his reluctance, had not courage to repeat his request. 
Meanwhile the breakfast was brought in. The gov- 
ernor silently filled the goblets, looked occasionally 
toward the door, sighed, seized the cup mechanically 
and raised it to his lips, and then set it down again 
without drinking. 

' Am I not like a child who is trembling with 
fear in anticipation of a ghost story ? ' he at length 
said, with a forced jest. ' Courage ! narrate it 

Arwed was about to obey, when an anxious 
movement was heard without, and, pale as death, 
the steward re-entered with a billet in his hand. 

' The countess is nowhere to be found,' stammered 
he. ' Her bed has not been disturbed. She was in 
the garden late last evening, and sent her chamber- 
maid to bed.' 

' What is that ? ' cried the governor rushing upon 
the steward. * What boldest thou there ? ' 

' A billet for your excellency,' answered the latter, 
' I found it in the chamber of the countess.' 

The governor seized, opened, and read it. As the 
oak of a thousand years yields to the force of its 
own weight when the axe has severed its roots, 
wavers, and finally rushes crackling to the ground ; 
so wavered and fell that noble old man, whose mental 
agony was happily relieved by a suspension of con- 

Whilst the steward and hastening: servants w^ere 


endeavoring to recall him to life, Arwed raised the 
paper which had fallen from his trembling hand, and 
read as follows : 

* Alike unworthy to call myself Arwed's wife and 
' your daughter, I have not courage to meet your 
* just anger, I therefore follow the man whose wife 
' I already am in the sight of God. By the memory 
' of my noble mother I conjure you curse me not, 
' May you pardon me in another world ! ' 

' Unhappy parent ! ' sighed Arwed with deep emo-^ 

Meantime the strong old man, who had partially 
recovered, raised himself up in his chair, and his 
first glance fell upon Arwed. 

' You have read ? ' he asked, and as Arwed 
answered in the affirmative, he stretched out his 
hand to receive the billet, which Arwed with some 
hesitation handed to him. Having motioned to his 
people to withdraw, he again read it through. 

' No, I will not curse thee, unhappy girl ! ' said he 
coldly, and tearing the note, * An ungrateful child 
bears already the curse of heaven in her heart, and 
where love is dead the flames of anger find no 
nourishment. You hope I shall pardon you in 
another world ! It is possible I may, if in that 
world earthly conceptions of honor disappear, and 
a w^oman without virtue is no longer a disgrace to 
her sex.' 

* Will you not make an attempt,' asked Arwed, 


' to tear the poor victim from her seducer ? Let us 
seek her ! Your arm reaches further than she can 
have flown in the course of the night.' 

* Why should I ? ' said the governor, with listless 
anger. * Should I bring her back, I should be 
compelled to take the life of the villain, whose wife 
she already is in the sight of God, and she would 
have nothing left on earth. Let them go !' 

A deep and awful silence followed. The clatter- 
ing steps of Arwed's horses, which Knut was leading 
out, awoke the uncle from his stupefaction. 

' Your horses are ready,' said he, rising up. ' Go, 
and God be w4th you ! ' 

' It is hard for me to leave you in this state of 
mind,' said Arwed. 

' Your country calls you,' answered the gover- 
nor, ' and I may venture to call myself a man. I 
have given proof of it. I have experienced the worst 
that can befall me, and sorrow has not killed me.' 

'My noble, my unhappy uncle!' cried Arwed, 
sinking upon the old man's bosom. 

• Fight bravely, Arwed,' said the uncle, ' but risk 
not your life with foolhardiness. You are my only 
heir. I know your disposition, that you disregard 
wealth, but the fact will serve to remind you that 
here lives an unhappy father of whom you are the 
last earthly prop.' 

' God send you peace ! ' cried Arwed, overpowered 
by sorrow, and rushing forth, he soon, wuth his 
faithful servant, found himself upon the high road. 


Late in the autumn of the same year the governor 
was again sitting in the hall of his forefathers, whose 
statues remained, hung with mourning crape. Before 
him stood a chess board, and, having no companion, 
he was amusing himself by playing the games con- 
tained in a book which he held in his hand. The 
unhappy man had altered much. Each successive 
week had left the wrinkles of a year upon his face, 
and it was a sad sight to see how he exerted himself 
to dispel painful recollections by a forced attention to 
the intricate course of the game. 

At that moment the footsteps of horses were heard 
in the court, and before he could hasten to the win- 
dow, Arwed entered the hall and rushed into his 
arms. , 

' Welcome, my son ! ' cried the uncle, perusing his 
features with intense interest ; * though I am sorry to 
see the expression of dark despondency which hangs 
upon your face. The warrior who has done his duty, 
must return home from the strife with joy.' 

' That depends upon the nature and result of the 
strife, my good uncle. But my whole life has been 


nothing but a long chain of frustrated wishes and 
abortive plans. The myrtle-wreath was torn from my 
brow, the laurel withers even while I grasp it, and I 
have failed to obtain the cypress crown.' 

* Is the war over ? ' asked the uncle. 

' For the present, yes,' answered Arwed, ' until it 
may please our enemies to recommence it — for there 
is no talk of peace either with the Danes or Russians.' 

' Not with the nearest and most powerful of our 
enemies ? ' indignantly cried the governor. ' Woman's 
rule is everywhere the same — too weak for resist- 
ance, too wilful for reconciliation. Poor Sweden ! ' 

' Rhenskioeld,' said Arwed, ' was already in full 
retreat before the Danes, when I joined him. I went 
also to the army which covered Stockholm ; but when 
I arrived the Russians were drawing off their forces. 
Desolation and pillage was the object of their landing, 
and most fully and fearfully was it accomplished. 
We indeed followed the retiring enemy and had 
some trifling contests with the rear guard, but when 
the English fleet under Norris approached our coasts, 
the barbarians quickl}^ embarked and left the country 
with immense booty.' 

' To have had the desire and to have made an 
effort to save your country, is deserving of honor I ' 
cried the uncle, extending his hand. ' Therefore once 
again welcome, my young hero.' 

Arwed gave him his left hand, and the awkwardness 
with which he did it, drew the attention of his uncle 
to the fact. 

' Why do you withhold from me the hand which 


has Avielded the sword in defence of Sweden ? ' he 
asked with surprise. 

' The impossibility of using it must be my excuse,' 
answered Arwed with a sorrowful glance towards his 
right arm, which was concealed under his coat. 

' What is this ? ' cried the governor aghast. ' Are 
you wounded in the arm ? ' 

' A Russian canister-shot shattered my hand in the 
last engagement,' answered Arwed, * and I was com- 
pelled to have it taken off at the wrist.' 

' My poor son ! ' exclaimed the sympathizing uncle. 
' That is a great misfortune. The laurels of victory 
are some compensation for wounds received in battle ; 
but to be crippled in a miserable unimportant skir- 
mish, is the most dreadful thing imaginable.' 

'It is indeed, uncle!' cried Arwed; * and I can 
now say with the king of France at Pavia, that I have 
lost every thing but honor ! ' 

' You are right,' replied the old man with a tremu- 
lous voice, his thoughts recurring to his fugitive 
daughter. ' Happy they w^ho can say as much ! ' and 
with a deep sigh his white head sank upon his labor- 
ing bosom. 

New footsteps in the court yard interrupted the sad 
pause, and immediately afterwards Megret entered 
the hall, with a face yet more gloomy than Arwed's. 

' I have returned once more,' said he, in a singular 
tone, as he greeted the uncle and nephew. 

' I am glad to see you, colonel,' answered the gov- 
ernor. ' Gyllensten has become very lonesome and 


desolate, and I am glad you have once more obtained 
a furlough in these warlike times.' 

' The queen's grace has given me leave of absence 
forever,' answered Megret with bitterness. ' I am 
dismissed the service.' 

' Dismissed the service ! ' repeated the governor. 
* It must be as major general then. I congratulate 

' I cannot accept your congratulations,' said Megret. 
' I have received my dismission unwished for, without 
advancement, and without pension.' 

'You jest!' cried the governor; * how could it be 
possible ? ' 

' I know no other reason,' answered Megret, ' than 
the obligations under which I have laid the queen and 
her husband. Great obligations ! It has cost me 
much to serve them, very much ! perhaps too much ! 
The queen might possibly have despaired of being 
able suitably to reward me, and has therefore chosen 
the most convenient way in which the great of the 
earth reward past services. She repays with ingrat- 
itude ! ' 

* These are strange observations, colonel,' said Arwed 
distrustfully, ' and you would do us a favor by giving 
a commentary upon the mysterious text.' 

' Let us speak of something more agreeable,' said 
Megret, drawing his hand over his forehead, as though 
he would have wiped something from it. ' How does 
the charming countess ? ' 

The governor trembled with agitation, and looked 


beseechingly at Arwed, as if he would have called 
him to his aid. 

Just as Arwed was about to answer for him the 
servant entered to announce a Laplander from the 
parish of Lyksale, who had a secret and important 
communication to make to the governor. 

* Conduct him to my cabinet ! ' commanded the 
latter, rising from his seat, and glad of the interruption. 

' You have not yet answered my question,' said 
Megret ; but the governor merely pointed to Arwed 
as he went out. 

' Am I directed to you for my answer ? ' he asked 
Arwed with anxious interest. ' This evasion of my 
simple question surprises me, and would seem to indi- 
cate some misfortune. I hope no mischance has be- 
fallen Christine ? ' 

' She left the castle on the night of your departure,' 
answered Arwed. 

' She must have fled, then, with the miserable Mac 
Donalbain ! ' cried the enraged Megret. 

' Probably,' answered Arwed. * She did not indeed 
name her seducer in her farewell note to her father, 
but all appearances point to him as the guilty one.' 

' And has no attempt been made to bring her back 
and punish the miscreant for his villany ? ' asked 

* The father has renounced his daughter forever,' 
answered Arwed, * and I must beseech you never 
more to mention her in his presence. It overpowers 
the unhappy man to be reminded of her.' 


' This is a consequence of my fatal delay ! ' cried 
Megret wildly, and beating his forehead. ' There is 
now nothing, nothing more in this world which can 
give me joy. My honor w^ounded by unworthy treat- 
ment, my love scorned and betrayed, what now remains 
for me ? * 

* A consciousness of rectitude, colonel,' said Arwed 
earnestly. * It is a firm rock of safety amid the storms 
of life.' ^ 

* Consciousness of rectitude I ' cried Megret with 
frightful vehemence, and then drawing a deep sigh, 
he hastened from the apartment. 

' Some horrid secret lies in this man's breast, like a 
sleeping tiger in his lair,' said Arwed. ' Wo to me, if 
I should be called to draw it forth.' 


Arwed had just risen the next morning, when the 
old steward came to him with a troubled countenance. 
* By your permission,' asked he with great deference, 
' did my lord inform you when he should return ? ' 

' Is my uncle absent ? ' asked Arwed with astonish- 
ment. ^ I knew nothing of it. When he declined 
coming to the table, last evening, I supposed it was 
merely because he wished to be alone.' 

' After the private audience which he granted the 
Laplander last evening,' proceeded the steward, ' he 
ordered a horse to be given him, and had his favorite 
brown saddled for himself with great privacy. The 
Laplander was to go before him and show him the 
way. He charged me strictly to keep his absence 
secret from every one. But as the night has passed 
and he is not yet returned, my anxiety got the better 
of me, and I felt compelled to inform you of the 
circumstance, even at the risk of his displeasure. 
You will know better than I what is necessary to be 
done in the case.' 


* What direction did my uncle take ? ' eagerly asked 
Arwed, putting on his hunting coat. 

* Along the right bank of the river,' answered the 
steward, ' upon the road which leads by Umea. Some 
Laplanders who were fishing in the river state that 
they saw both of the riders as they passed the 
ford of the Lais Elf, and then struck off to the right 
into the pine forest on the borders of our Lappmark.' 

' And you really have no conjecture as to the object 
of this journey ? ' Arwed further asked. 

'Conjecture, indeed!' answered the steward. 'I 
suspect that our lord's object was to obtain information 
of the robber bandj who are again spreading confusion 
and dismay through the border forests. Who knows 
but he is on the look-out for Black Naddock himself? ' 

' Impossible ! ' cried Arwed with alarm. ' That is 
no business for his years. It is too dangerous.' 

' Ah, dear major,' said the steward, sorrowfully, 
' since the countess Christine has left us, our poor lord 
no longer cares any thing about his life, and perhaps 
a bullet from one of the brigands' rifles would be right 
welcome to him.' 

' May God and our true service preserve the noble 
man from such an end ! ' cried Arwed, taking his gun, 
hunting-knife and shooting-bag. * I will go and 
reconnoitre. If it be God's will, I shall return in the 
morning with some definite intelligence. Until then, 
let every one keep perfect silence. If my uncle has 
fallen into wicked hands, every thing will depend upon 


taking the villains by surprise. Should I not come 
back by the time I mentioned, you will then inform 
the sheriff of what has occurred, that he may save or 
avenge his worthy chief.' 

' God bless your undertaking-, noble count ! ' cried 
the steward, kissing Arwed's hand, as he hastened 
from the castle. 


Arwed had waded through the Lais Elf about a 
thousand yards from where it falls into the Umea, 
and turning into the pine forest to the right from the 
road, he proceeded onward upon a winding path. All 
was silent and dreary around him, with the exception 
of the rustling of the cold autumn breeze in the tops 
of the tall pines, and this dismal stillness added yet 
more to the feeling of desolation in his soul. ' No trace 
of animals or men ! ' said he to himself. * No sign or 
token which tells me I am upon the right track ! Is 
this silence of nature an omen that this well intended 
undertaking, like all its elder brothers, will die in its 
birth ? ' 

During this soliloquy he had arrived at a larger 
opening in the midst of the forest, and now the dull 
tinkling of a small bell and the unharmonious singing 
of many voices, struck upon his ear. ' That must be a 
horde of reindeer Laplanders ! ' he joyfully exclaimed. 
* They come opportunely.' The nomades soon broke 
forth from the thickest part of the wood. More than 
a hundred tawny-brown reindeer, headed by the 


leading buck, with his far-sounding bell, discovered 
themselves. The kind and useful animals followed 
quietly, with their mane-like beards and strangely 
formed horns, with outstretched necks, staring out of 
their honest looking eyes upon their leader ; and if a 
young one occasionally attempted to stray from the line 
of march, the well taught hounds would immediately 
overhaul and return him to the ranks. The owner 
closed the procession, with his wives, his daughters 
and sons, children-in-law and grand-children, serving 
men and maidens, all riding upon reindeer, and howl- 
ing an ill-sounding Laplandish song. The train 
spread itself out upon the meadow and made a halt, 
the burthened reindeer were unladen, and some 
cone-shaped huts, composed of limbs of trees and 
covered with mats and skins, soon arose over the green 
earth, which afforded immediate refreshment to the 

The preparation for their meal was immediately 
begun in these huts, from the tops of which the curl- 
ing smoke cheerfully floated up into the clear heavens. 

Arwed approached the patriarch of this numerous 
family, who had seated himself upon the grass near 
his favorite animal, and had just received from his 
women a wooden goblet full of reindeer's milk. 

' Greetings to you, good Samolazes,' said Arwed in 
a friendly manner. ' Where from ? ' 

' We have come down from Dofrefield,' answered 
the Laplander, ' seeking better pasturage for our 



' Has any thing unusual occurred during your jour- 
ney ? ' Arwed asked in continuation, by way of ap- 
proaching the particular object of his inquiries. 

The old Laplander tossed his head, examined the 
youth mistrustfully with his dull red eyes, and coldly 
and gruffly answered, ' nothing has happened to us.' 

' They say the roads are not entirely safe,' continued 
Arwed ; ' that Black Naddock has again suffered 
himself to be seen in these regions.' 

* I know nothing of the man,' anxiously protested the 
Laplander ; ' in my whole life I never before heard of 

' That is a lie ! ' said Arwed angrily. ' How is it 
possible that you should be so ignorant about the 
scourge of this whole country ? You distrust me 
very unjustly. I ask with good intentions. It is of 
the utmost consequence that I should discover the 
hirking hole in which this band of dangerous villains 
conceal themselves, that they may be annihilated by 
one bold stroke. Upon this, perhaps, depends the 
rescue of a very noble man from the clutches of the 

* The arts of men are as multiform as the clouds 
which ride upon the winds,' answered the Laplander, 
with a shake of the head. ' It is very possible that 
you yourself belong to the gang, and only wish to spy 
out how much I have learned of their proceedings, 
and how I am disposed towards them. It is not well 
however to speak of the fiery-eyed wolf. My herd is 
dear to me, and therefore I am the most ignorant man 


on earth of all that upon which you would question 

' For shame, Juckas Jervis ! ' now cried the Laplan- 
der's elderly better half, who had hitherto listened in 
silence, but with evident interest, to the conversation. 
* How can you be so suspicious and disingenuous ? 
This Swede is surely an honest man, who is well dis- 
posed towards us all. Only look at his handsome and 
honest face. What he asks is for our common good, 
and we should honestly answer him according to our 
be&t ability. The tribute we have been compelled to 
pay the thieves for the safety of our herds, has long 
troubled me.' 

' On your own responsibility ! ' grumbled the old 
man, draAving Arwed mysteriously aside. * You will 
find the robbers' camp,' he whispered to him, ' by 
turning to the left and then proceeding straight forward 
to the foot of the mountains. You will then turn to 
the right into a ravine, and again to the left, following 
the banks of a glacier rivulet until you discover what 
you seek. You will know the place by the swarms 
of carrion birds who scent their future prey there, and 
consequently never leave the rocks.' 

' Your description may appear very plain to you, 
friend Jervis,' said Arwed, 'but it is nevertheless 
hardly intelligible to me. Grant me a guide to the 
place. I will richly reward him.' 

' Jackmock ! ' cried the Laplander's wife, and a 
short, thick, nine-pin looking fellow sprang forward, 
whom Jervis directed to guide the Swedish gentleman 
to the Eavensten in the mountains. 


^ Certainly ! ' answered the fellow. ' If not entirely 
there, yet so near that he can see it at a distance.' 
Whereupon he hastened to get his staff and traveling 
bag, and soon again stood before Arwed, ready for the 

' I am already under great obligations to you,' said 
Arwed to the woman. * Yet — yet one more question 
I wish to ask in the strictest confidence. You come 
from where I wish to go. Perhaps you have accident- 
ally learned something of a fine, tall old gentleman 
who, since yesterday, may have fallen into wicked 
hands ? ' 

' You wish to know much, and require us to do 
dangerous things ! ' grumbled the patriarch. 

' You have already told me so much,' urged Arwed, 
' why not unreservedly tell me all ? By my God, I 
will not abuse your confidence.' 

' Who can deny you any thing ? ' whispered the 
woman, laughing. ' According to the information we 
received yesterday about sunset, you will indeed find 
him whom you seek upon the Eavensten ; but whether 
living or dead, I cannot undertake to say.' 

Arwed turned to go. 

' Take care of yourself,' said the good woman in 
bidding him God speed.^ ' Naddock shows no mercy 
to an enemy. If you fall into his hands as an oppo- 
nent, you are lost.' 

* We are all in the hands of God,' answered Arwed 
with confidence ; and, shaking hands with Jervis, he 
followed his guide into the forest. 


They had been traveling silently for some hours, 
when the forest opened, and an arm of the mountain 
which divides the Umea Lappmark lay before them, 
in all its awful magnificence. Naked rocks and 
icebergs stretched up into the clouds, and the pale 
green vallies interspersed between the masses of 
stone, ice and snow, appeared as if nature was here 
already preparing for her long winter's repose. 

At the moment when the wanderers had arrived at 
the foot of the first ascent, Arwed's guide, giving a 
shriek of terror, and pointing with a trembling hand 
towards a black fir-tree in the road, turned and fled 
so suddenly into the forest, that Arwed was soon 
obliged to give up all thoughts of calling him back. 
Surprised, he now looked toward the fir-tree which 
had caused the Laplander's panic. The view was 
sufiiciently horrible. The bloody head of a Lap- 
lander was affixed to one of the under branches of 
the tree. Near it was suspended a tablet, upon 
which in large letters was inscribed — ' Punishment 
of treachery to Naddock and his brethren.' 


* Shameless insolence ! ' exclaimed Arwed, with 
indignation at the impudence of the robber, who, 
to screen his own crimes, had here executed a lawless 
penal judgment with Turkish barbarity. Approach- 
ing the tree, he long and sorrowfully examined the 
mute, pale, yellow face. ' Poor victim,' he ex- 
claimed, * how mournfully thou lookest down upon 
me, as if thou wouldst warn me from the path which 
probably led thee to death. It would indeed be hard 
for me so to end my life. Yet my second father 
must be saved, and it is unbecoming a man to turn 
back from an enterprise which he has once com- 
menced. No, fearlessly and cheerfully will I go on, 
and if my undertaking succeed, thy death also shall 
find an avenger ! ' 

A clattering, as if from the approach of many 
people, interrupted the earnest monologue. Arwed 
slipped among the bushes beside the way, and about 
ten men, of wild and ferocious aspect, armed with 
knives, iron-mounted cudgels, and some of them 
with muskets, came down from the mountain and 
passed directly by him, gabbling among themselves 
in their unintelligible gibberish, without being aware 
of his near proximity. 

They had no sooner showed him their backs, than 
he hastily arose and proceeded up the mountain with 
rapid strides. 

With toilsome efforts Arwed succeeded in following 
the Laplander's directions. At length he found the 
s^lacier brook, and at the same time the end of his 


journey. A huge mass of bare, dark-gray rocks, 
surrounded by ice-mountains, towered up into the 
clouds in terrible majesty. Upon their summit lay 
the ruins of an ancient castle, of which only a couple 
of towers with their connecting wall were standing, 
and above them swarmed innumerable multitudes of 
rooks and daws, some of which sat in thick rows 
upon the battlements, while others fluttered in flocks 
about them in wild commotion. Their harsh croak- 
ings resounded amid the deep stillness of the place, 
boding misfortune. * Truly, not alone in the battle- 
field is the courage of man called into exercise ! ' 
said he to himself, while seeking the way which led 
up to the ruins. At length he had found a foot-path, 
when a rough voice cried out to him, ' Halt ! ' He 
looked up, and upon a high rock hardly ten steps 
before him stood a brigand, whose rifle was aimed at 
his head. 

' What may be the matter ? ' cried Arwed, roughly, 
taking his gun from his shoulder. 

' Lay aside your arms, or I will shoot you down !' 
commanded the robber. 

'That is not my custom,' answered Arwed. ' Shoot, 
rascal ! But be sure to hit, or you are lost.' 

And presenting his gun with his left hand, as he 
would have presented a pistol, he rushed towards 
his adversary. The latter, daunted by his boldness, 
fired and missed ; and instantly afterwards, with 
Arwed's bullet in his head, he fell upon the rock, 
whence, yet struggling with death, he tumbled down 


a neighboring and unfathomable abyss. Frightened 
by the firing, the whole flock of funereal birds arose 
croaking from the summit, with the rustling of a 
thousand wings, and fluttered like a dark rushing 
cloud in the air, for some minutes obscuring the liijht 
of the sun. 

' Those villanous birds will alarm the garrison 
and bring the whole gang in an uproar upon me,' 
thought Arwed, as he reloaded his gun. ' I would 
willingly have ascended further, but now I must not 
venture it. Every thing depends upon my safely 
reaching Gyllensten with the knowledge I have 
acquired. I have obtained the necessary information 
concerning the enemy's position. It has indeed cost 
one man's life, but he is no great loss to the world.' 

He hastened homeward. Soon the dangerous 
mountain lay far behind him ; and, just as the stars 
beofan to twinkle in the firmament, he reached Gvl- 
lensten in safety. 


Under the direction of Megret and Arwed, the 
preparations for breaking up the nest of robbers were 
made with great ability and circumspection. The ten 
dragoons stationed at Umea were privately summoned 
to Gyllensten, and the neighboring peasantry, who 
were collected together under the pretext of a grand 
wolf-hunt, were distributed among them and the 
governor's foresters and gamekeepers. The little 
force thus collected, numbering about eighty men, 
were divided into two commands under Megret 
and Arwed, and started the next night in many sepa- 
rate divisions, which, though connected by patroles, 
presented no one conspicuous mass which could excite 
the suspicions of the brigands. Whilst Megret pro- 
ceeded in this manner directly towards Ravensten, 
Arwed sought to reach the other side of the rocks by 
a circuitous route, so as to cut off any attempted retreat 
to the neighboring mountains. The movement was 
successfully accomplished. Just before sun-rise the 
two divisions almost simultaneously reached the foot 
of the Eavensten, and slowly and cautiously ascended 


the narrow rocky passes. They arrived at the sumrait 
without meeting with any obstruction. There, one of 
the robber sentinels, being aroused, made a stand and 
shot down one of the dragoons by Arwed's side. The 
shot not only awakened the winged denizens of 
Ravensten, who rose affrighted and screaming into the 
air, but also occasioned a movement in the towers, 
and about tAventy of the half naked brigands rushed 
out with such arms as they could first seize in the 
confusion of the moment, and fell upon the assailants. 
The strife vras furious on both sides, but victory finally 
inclined in favor of the greater number of the assailing 
party ; — want of experience was compensated by the 
circumspection and bravery of their leaders, and the 
brigands were yielding ground, when a small, fresh 
band, came forth to the battle and renewed the fight. 
At their head was a tall, well-formed man, with a 
dark-colored face, who first fired his pistols among 
the assailants, and then with great fury fell upon the 
peasants, sword in hand. ' That is Black Naddock ! ' 
they cried, every where retreating before him. The 
dragoons and foresters, how^ever, kept their ground, 
and the battle raged with increased fierceness. 

^ That is the man who saved my life on the road to 
Tornea ! ' cried Arwed to Megret. 

* It is Mac Donalbain, artificially blackened ! ' ex- 
claimed the latter with envenomed scorn, attempting 
to fight his way to his hated rival ; but some of the 
brigands threw themselves before him, and kept him 
fully employed ; whilst Arwed constantly pressed 


nearer and nearer to the blackamoor, and soon discov- 
ered the well-known features through his disguise, 

' Yield, Mac Donalbain, the victory is ours ! ' cried 
Arwed, attacking him. 

' It is better to die by the sword of a brave nobleman 
than upon the scaffold ! ' exclaimed Mac Donalbain, 
suddenly exposing his uncovered breast to Arwed's 

' God forbid ! ' cried Arwed, checking the descend- 
ing blow. ' I am no murderer ! ' But at that moment 
Megret, having disencumbered himself of his trouble- 
some opponents, hurled the Scot to the earth. 

' At last ! ' triumphantly exclaimed Megret, setting 
his foot upon the breast of his fallen foe and slowly 
raising his sword for the death-stroke with an infernal 

At that moment a woman in a peasant's dress and 
with a child in her arms, rushed forward with an 
agonizing shriek. Wildly floated the rich blond locks 
about her white forehead, which strangely contrasted 
with the bloom of the rosy faced infant. ' Christine ! ' 
cried the terrified Arwed. 

* Mercy ! ' shrieked the unhappy woman. ' Mercy 
for my husband, for the father of this child ! ' 

'You know not what you ask, madam Mac Donal- 
bain ! ' said Megret, scornfully. ' Whoever is well 
disposed towards you and your house, cannot do a 
better thing than speedily to help you to a widow's 
veil.' He aimed a blow, — but Arwed opportunely 
struck up his sword and forced him back. 


' Mac Donalbain is a prisoner ! ' cried the youth with 
noble indignation. ' From this moment he stands 
under the protection of the law, to which he is amen- 
able, and you have no right to take his life.' 

' Ah, Arwed, you are indeed always yourself I ' 
sobbed Christine, falling at his feet with her child. 

' Such generous subtlety,' said Megret, putting up 
his sword, ' becomes loathsome to me when practically 
applied in the important affairs of life.' 

* In this case, generosity is more cruel than malig- 
nity ! ' cried Mac Donalbain, closing his eyes from 
exhaustion by loss of blood. 

Meantime the right had fully conquered. Fifteen 
of the robbers had fallen in the fight, and seven had 
madly thrown themselves from the summit and found 
the death they hoped to escape, upon the sharp cliffs 
of Ravensten. The remainder, twelve in number, 
struck with terror by the fall of their chief, threw 
down their arms and begged for mercy. 

Whilst Megret caused the prisoners to be bound 
together in couples, Mac Donalbain was by Arwed's 
direction conveyed into the lower vault of the tower, 
and his wounds taken care of. 

Arwed then turned to Christine, who had followed 
them to the tower. ' Wretched woman,' cried he, 
grasping her powerfully, ' where is thy father ? ' 

Christine pointed speechlessly to a corner of the 
cave-like room, and then threw herself in silent 
wretchedness upon Mac Donalbain's couch of sorrow. 

Arwed hastened to the designated spot, found and 


sprung a trap door there, which opened into the rocky 
cellar of the castle. A long, winding staircase con- 
ducted him to a subterranean but well lighted room, 
where, still paler and weaker than when he last saw 
him, his poor old uncle met his view. 

' My son ! my preserver I ' cried the old man, with 
outspread arms. 

' Thank God, my object is accomplished ! ' exclaimed 
Arwed, with heartfelt joy. * Yet once more has my 
melancholy existence been rendered really useful in 
the world.' 

* Alas, that it has been accomplished ! ' cried the 
uncle with deep despondency. * Rather would I have 
found here an unknoAvn and unhonored grave, than 
meet the overwhelming shame which must henceforth 
rest upon my noble name in my native land ! ' 



Under the directions of Megret the towers and 
walls of Ravensten were blown up, to render them 
forever after incapable of serving as a place of shelter 
for similar bands. The wounded Mac Donalbain 
and his companions were secured in the prisons of 
Umea, and Christine with her child conveyed to 
Gyllensten, where her aged father, his iron constitu- 
tion finally overpowered by his sorrows, lay dangerous- 
ly ill. The chief judge had summoned the associate 
justices of his court to the sessions-chamber of the 
city hall of Umea, for the trial of the criminals. 
Arwed and Megret were present ; the former at his 
uncle's request, and the latter, that he might witness 
the entire outpouring of the cup of vengeance ; and, 
supported by his keeper and laden with chains, 
Mac Donalbain appeared before his judges. Ha- 
rassed and tormented by his wounds, he staggered 
here and there, with difficulty holding himself up- 
right ; but his spirit remained unbroken, and his 
dark eyes flashed upon the assembly with all their 
former fierceness. Megret beheld the scene with a 


smile of internal satisfaction. Arwed gave a look of 
sympathy to the unhappy man, and then whispered 
a request to the judge. The latter nodded. The 
bailiffs took off Mac Donalbain's chains and placed 
a stool for him, upon which he seated himself with a 
look of gratitude towards Arwed. 

* Tell us your true name, your rank, and your 
native country,' commenced the judge with solemn 

' Gregor Mac Donalbain,' answered the prisoner; 
' a nobleman of the highlands of Scotland.' 

' Do you still continue, with shameless effrontery, 
to make that assertion ? ' interposed Megret. 

* Forget not, colonel,' cried Mac Donalbain with 
vehemence, ' that here you have no right to question 
me, and that I do not acknowledge any obligation to 
answer you.' 

* Neither should you forget,' said Megret, with 
bitterness, ' that pride and insolence will make your 
bad cause still worse, and forever close the door of 
mercy which true repentance and humility may 
perhaps otherwise open for you.' 

' You would indeed very willingly see me, over- 
powered by the fear of death, begging my life 
at your feet,' rejoined Mac Donalbain, disdainfully. 
' But you may as well resign all hope of that 
pleasure. I reject and scorn all mercy for which I 
must be indebted to you.' 

The judge commanded both of them to be silent. 
' Admitting the correctness of your statement,' said 


he to Mac Donalbain, ' how is it possible that you 
could stain your nobility by abandoning yourself to 
so horrible and reprobate a profession ? ' 

' It was my fate ! ' answered Mac Donalbain dog- 
gedly, and casting his eyes upon the ground. 

* So, but too often, does man name the conse- 
quences of his passions and his crimes ! ' remarked 
the judge. 

' So,' said Mac Donalbain, * may this name be 
often applied to the injustice which an unfortunate 
man suffers from his brethren, when that injustice 
impels him to deeds which else would have been 
abhorrent to his soul. A cruel injury to my honor, 
which I suffered in the service of the British king, 
threw me into the arms of the English buccaneers. 
My name became known and feared in both the east- 
ern and western oceans. The lords of the earth, 
however they may indulge in similar enterprizes on a 
great scale for the accomplishment of their projects, 
array themselves against little private exploits. Ex- 
cluded from the ports of all civilized nations, we were 
at length compelled to seek an asylum in Africa. We 
found one in Madagascar. There w^e heard of the 
return of the hero of the north to his own country. 
We hoped that this prince, fond of war, and com- 
pelled as he was to engage in it, would receive us 
with open arms. Offering to him our services, we 
proposed to enter the port of Gottenburg with sixty 
sail of vessels. Two of his nobility closed a treaty 
with us in his name. I was sent here before the 


arrival of the fleet to prepare every thing for its 
reception ; but a fever seized me at Gottenburg ; 
and before my recovery the king fell before Freder- 
ickshall. Storms, and Europe's licensed pirates, 
annihilated our fleet upon its way hither, and when 
at length I arose from my bed of sickness I was a 
beggar. There was no longer any hope of the 
fulfilment of the royal promise. With Charles's seal 
and signature for the rank of colonel, I could not 
even obtain a company. Then again awoke in me 
the bitter hatred of mankind. My last hope to live 
and fall as an honorable soldier, was destroyed. The 
country which denied me my well acquired rights, 
threw me back to the state of nature, in which every 
man sustains and defends himself by his own natural 
powers. I then felt myself authorized to make war 
upon my enemies, and take what I needed with the 
strong hand. A band of unfortunates, who like me 
had nothing to lose, chose me for their leader, 
and the struggle between myself and the crown of 
Sweden began. I have been overcome and am 
therefore in the Avrong ; — for which reason I pray 
you quickly to break the staff of justice over my head. 
I am ready to die.' 

* Dreadful man!' cried the judge. 'Have you 
also such sophisms in readiness to excuse the misery 
and shame you have brought upon a noble house 
within whose walls you were hospitably received ? ' 

' That is the curse of my life,' cried Mac Donalbain, 
repentantly, * for which I cannot answer. For that 


must I call down justice upon myself. However 
hard your sentence may fall upon me, by that alone 
have I deserved it, and willingly bow myself before 
the chastening hand of the law.' 

'It is the request of my uncle,' said Arwed to the 
judge, 'that all the wrongs which Mac Donalbain 
has perpetrated against our house should be passed 
over without investigation.' 

' What, even the attempt against his excellency's 
person ? ' indignantly asked the judge, whilst Megret 
in silent anger ground the floor with his spurred heel. 

' The band,' said Arwed, ' among whom the gov- 
ernor had accidentally fallen, wished to murder him 
for their own safety. Mac Donalbain preserved the 
old man's life by risking his own. Even the im- 
prisonment was but a measure resorted to for that 
purpose. I also have to thank this man for the 
preservation of my life. He would have a strong 
counter reckoning to make with us. Therefore let 
one account be considered as balanced by the other.' 

' I am astonished,' spitefully observed Megret, 
' that my lord the governor has not proposed an 
amnesty for his dear son-in-law.' 

' My uncle,' answered Arw^ed w^ith earnestness, 
' can pardon injuries personal to himself; but he will 
never allow himself to interrupt the just operation of 
the laws. With us Mac Donalbain has made his 
peace. He has now to reconcile himself with the 
laws and satisfy the demands of public justice, if 
need be, with his blood I' 


* Oh, would to God it might be so ! ' cried Mac 
Donalbain. * With my present feelings life would 
be to me a most sad and unwelcome gift.' 

A disturbance was now hear4 without the session- 
room. The door flew open, and the breathless Chris- 
tine, with her child in her arms, pressed irresistibly 
through the crowd of officers who sought to hold 
her back. 

' This trial also ! ' sighed Mac Donalbain, turning 
away his face. 

' In God's name, the countess Gyllenstierna ! ' cried 
the astonished judge. 

* I was the countess Gyllenstierna,' said Christine. 
* I am now the wedded wife of the brigand leader, 
Mac Donalbain, and my place is by his side, in chains 
or upon the gallows.' 

' Christine ! how could you afflict your father by 
this second shameful flight ? ' Arwed reproachingly 

* My father's life,' answered Christine, 'was already 
empoisoned beyond remedy by my guilt. Therefore 
allow me the merit of having fulfilled my duty towards 
at least one being in the world, my husband. He is a 
prisoner, and suffering in body and mind. He needs 
care and consolation ; and from whom can he expect 
either, if not from her who has bound her fate with 
his for this life by a solemn oath before God's altar.' 

' Have you then really married the criminal ? ' 
Megret anxiously asked. 

Christine gave him a scornful look and remained 


silent ; but when the question was repeated by the 
judge, she drew a sealed paper from her bosom and 
laid it upon his table. 

' A Gyllenstierna can never wholly fall,' said she 
proudly. * The old curate of Lyksale, constrained 
by my tears, secretly married us a short time before 
his death.' 

' This evidence,' said the judge, ' speaks against 
your wish to share the criminal's chains. Bound to 
him by the holy ties of marriage, you become guilt- 
less of the crimes in which he is implicated, in which 
your will had no part. There is no reasonable ground 
for your detention, and nothing remains but to send 
you back to your father.' 

' Torture me not with this well-meant chicanery ! ' 
exclaimed Christine. ' Would you counsel me to 
ascertain which is deepest, the Umea or my misery ? 
Or would you that I should strangle myself with the 
braids of my hair ? So true as the Lord liveth, I 
will not be torn living from my husband.' 

' Let it be as she wishes,' begged Arwed of the 

* I shall perhaps take a heavy responsibility upon 
myself,' answered the latter w^ith strong emotion. 
' But who could withstand her intercession ? Be 
it so.' 

'Courage, Mac Donalbain!' now exhorted Chris- 
tine. ' We have men for our judges. They will 
listen to your defence with merciful hearts, and thus 
at least vour life wull be saved.' 


' I desire not life, nor will I ask for mercy !' cried 
Mac Donalbain, wildly. 'My deeds are my own, 
and the son of my father is not accustomed to excuse 
or palliate them, especially to save a miserable life ! ' 

* You speak as becomes a man and a Scottish 
nobleman,' said Christine ; ' yet must I be allowed 
to speak for you as becomes your truly wedded wife. 
Therefore I beg of you, my lord's, give that gracious 
hearing which you hope God will one day give you ! ' 

' What can you offer in defence of a convicted 
highway robber ? ' asked the judge, with some ap- 
pearance of sympathy. 

' The heaven-crying injustice of the government !' 
eagerly exclaimed Christine, ' which forcibly im- 
pelled the unhappy man upon his criminal career. 
The indulgence which has been shown to similar 
transgressions. The case of the Danish deserter, 
who received from Charles XII great rewards and a 
license to rob for his own benefit, proves how mildly 
such transgressions have hitherto been judged in our 

' However clear may be the precedent you cite to 
us,' said the judge, ' it cannot be applied to the 
present case. Neither was the absolute sovereign 
authorised to grant such unheard of privileges, which , 
if true, owes its origin but to one of Charles's strange 
caprices; as the property of the subjects must be 
deemed sacred by the king, who is indeed their 
natural protector.' 


* My maternal inheritance shall repair the wrong' 
which Mac Donalbain has inflicted upon the country ! ' 
cried Christine. 

' Can you make reparation for the innocent blood 
which has been shed by your husband's hand?' 
asked the judge with impressive solemnity. 

' The resistance he opposed to the attack was 
self-defence ! ' cried Christine ; ' besides, none of the 
assailants fell by his sword ; and with that exception 
he has preserved his hands pure from the blood of 
his fellow men.' 

* By no means!' answered the judge. * The 
traveler upon the road to Lulea, and the unhappy 
Laplander, who conducted the governor to that den 
of murderers, are dumb witnesses of your husband's 

* By the God of heaven, Mac Donalbain is not 
guilty of their death ! ' cried Christine in tones of 
the deepest anguish. ' Ask the band, and, if either 
of them accuse my husband, let us both die the 
shameful death of criminals.' 

' We would indeed very willingly hear the truth, 
at last, from his companions. But in their examina- 
tions they have denied all knowledge of the crimes 
of which they have been guilty, with unparalleled 

' The knaves deny ! ' cried Mac Donalbain, spring- 
ing upon his feet. ' They must consider me dead or 
as having escaped, else they would not dare to do it. 


for they know me. Let them be brought here, — let 
them be placed before my eyes. I will reckon with 
them in a manner which shall change their minds.' 

* It may not be advisable,' observed Megret ; * it 
may give them an opportunity for secret collusion.' 

* I am of a different opinion, colonel,' answered the 
judge, directing the bailiif to bring in the band. 
* This man is so bold and frank that we need not fear 

A long, deep silence ensued. Christine, weeping 
in silence, had seated herself upon Mac Donalbain's 
stool, and was absorbed in the contemplation of the 
blooming child, which with an angel smile was sleep- 
ing on her bosom. The brigand leader had kneeled 
down and hid his face in her lap, whilst her white 
fingers wandered among his black and curled locks. 
Megret looked with dark burning glances, and Arwed 
with the deepest sympathy upon the group, while the 
judge said, sighing : ' the office of a judge is some- 
times very difficult to administer ! ' 

A noise was now heard in the ante-room. Arms 
and chains rattled, and twelve fiend-like ruffians, in 
heavy chains and strongly guarded by bailiffs and 
soldiers, stepping in exact time, without recognizing 
or noticing Mac Donalbain, marched in and formed in 
exact line on the space before the bench. 

' We have again summoned you,' began the chief 
judge, ' to repeat our exhortations to confess the 
truth, and once more to lead your minds to the con- 
viction, that by persisting in your shameless denials, 


jou only prolong the examination and your own 
imprisonment — that you expose yourselves to the 
torture of the rack, and moreover increase the sever- 
ity of your punishment, the mitigation of which you 
can only hope from a free and full confession. Con- 
sider, unhappy men, that my present request is made 
with the kindest intentions. He, only, who honestly 
acknowledges and repents of his sins can hope for a 
merciful judgment here or hereafter.' 

' It is quite pathetic and affecting to hear,' answer- 
ed the most hardened of the prisoners, ' that such a 
lord as you should so far condescend to us miserable 
people, as to beg where you are accustomed only to 
command. We cannot indeed particularly wish to 
hasten an examination which with us is to end with 
the gallows, especially if we should say yes to all of 
which we are suspected to be guilty. The mitigation 
of punishment, with which judges always embellish 
their promises to prisoners, in requital of candid con- 
fessions, appears to me like the little book mentioned 
in the revelations of St. John, ' sweet in the mouth 
and bitter in the belly.' We know of many examples 
w^here prisoners have fared worse for speaking than 
for keeping silent. However it may be with others, 
w^e have not the least desire to talk away our own lives. 
Concerning the rack, which judges always present as 
the other alternative, we must submit to it as well as 
we may, all of us having strong frames and stout 
hearts. Nevertheless we would give you every infor- 
mation without the rack, if any w^e had. What we 


do know, we have honestly related ; and it certainly 
is not our fault if you will not believe us.' 

' Do you persist, then, in denying the robberies of 
which you are already as good as convicted ? ' asked 
the judge. 

' We deny nothing,' insolently answered the pris- 
oner, ' nor do Ave acknowledge anything ; for we 
have committed no crime. We are honest Finlanders, 
who follow hunting through half the Lappmark, and 
had our head quarters upon the Eavensten.' 

* And do you really know nothing of Black Nad- 
dock ? ' further asked the judge. 

' We have heard some tales about the arrant rogue,' 
answered the brigand, ' but the devil knows more 
about him than we. There was indeed a Moor, who 
begged a lodging of us last night, and I thought I 
saw him again in the morning, when we were attack- 
ed by the dragoons and their companions ; but 
whether he was or was not Naddock, is more than I 
can say. I do not know the man.' 

' You do not know me, rascal ? ' cried Mac Donal- 
bain, springing forward, and striking his brother 
robber to the earth with his fist. 

'The captain!' was murmured along the ranks, 
and, fronting their chief, the robbers laid their right 
hands upon their hearts, in token of respectful 

' Must I suffer this from people whom I have com- 
manded ? ' angrily exclaimed Mac Donalbain, ' You 
have held out like heroes, against men and elements, 


and do you now equivocate like common thieves from 
a miserable fear of death ? Know that I have dis- 
closed everything to the court, and further, that I will 
freely answer every question they can put to me. Do 
you wish to give the lie to your captain ? ' 

^ God forbid ! ' stammered one of the band. * We 
should be disgraced for life ! ' cried another ; and the 
former speaker, who by this time had risen from the 
floor, cried, ' let your crook-backed secretary nib his 
pen afresh, sir judge. We will now sing the song 
that you lords will but too willingly hear from such 
poor devils as we. Write ! Everything that our 
captain has confessed is true from the beginning to 
the end.' 

* Well now,' cried Megret, who could restrain 
himself no longer ; ' 3^ou see that you may now, if 
you please, repay your captain for all the misfortunes 
he has brought upon you. The sinful ties which 
connected you with him are cut asunder, and you 
have no reason to spare him in the least. So tell the 
court freely and frankly — ' who murdered the traveler 
on the road to Lulea ? ' ' 

' That,' answered the robber with eagerness and 
proud satisfaction, ' was done by a brace of gallows- 
birds who did not belong to our band, but marauded 
on their own account, and we beg not to be confound- 
ed with them. Had we caught them we should 
ourselves have hung them upon the nearest tree ; for 
we could not with indifference have permitted such 
good-for-nothing fellows to injure our reputation.' 


' And who killed the poor Laplander, who was 
found hung upon the fir-tree before the entrance to 
your den ? ' asked the judge. 

' Eed Hialf,' answered the prisoner ; * but without 
orders. In consequence of which our captain arrested 
him, and on the morning when we were attacked, he 
was to have had his trial. He must have been found 
locked up in the vault of the second tower.' 

' That place was not searched I ' cried Arwed, with 
a shudder. 

' He must have been blown into the air with the 
tower,' said Megret. ' There can be no question 
of it.' 

' You must now be convinced,' said Christine, ap- 
proaching the judge, ' that my husband is innocent 
of every murderous deed. Can you now give me 
any hope for him ? ' 

* I should consider it great presumption to give you 
any,' answered the judge, ' and unjust to Avithhold 
it entirely. Our laws are severe and my duties strict. 
Yet can the queen pardon. Leave the decision to 

He directed the bailiffs to replace Mac Donalbain's 
chains. Christine watched the proceeding in silent 
sadness, bowed with a sweet and melancholy grace to 
the judges, and, supporting her child with one arm 
and her husband with the other, she moved with him 
from the room. Arwed and Megret followed her. 

' Is it really your unalterable resolution, countess,' 
whispered the latter to her, ^ to share the imprisonment 


of a villain, instead of fulfilling a daughter's duty by 
the sick bed of your noble father ? ' 

But Christine turned away without answering him, 
and approached Arwed. ' Thy spirit breathed upon 
me in the court room,' said she with strong emotion. 
' For the kindness I met there, I am indebted to thy 
benignant heart. Tire not ! I well know that we are 
not worthy of all you are doing for us ; but you are 
accustomed to the performance of all that is good and 
great, and will of yourself consummate your work, 
for its own sake, regardless of the object. Save but 
the life of this unhappy man, and you shall have my 
eternal gratitude.' 

' Listen not to her prayer, count,' cried Mac Donal- 
bain, ' but suffer me to seek in the grave that peace 
which life can henceforth never give me.' 

The conversation was interrupted by the guards 
whose duty it was to conduct the prisoners to their 
dungeon. Christine, shuddering, left Arwed, to follow 
her husband. ' Biahle ! Elle aime le larron, et elle 
Vaimera jusqiCa la poteiice ! ' cried the enraged and 
despairing Megret as he rushed out. 


It was already deep winter, and the judges were 
again assembled in the town hall of Umea. Once 
more Arw^ed leaned against the window, an interested 
spectator. Through his interposition Megret was this 
time denied entrance. With recovered health Mac 
Donalbain, his faithful nurse, his child, and his twelve 
comrades, were placed before the judgment seat. The 
chief judge showed the seal of the envelope covering 
the final decision, which had been received from 
Stockholm. After satisfying all present that the seal 
was still inviolate, he proceeded to break it and drew 
out the portentous document, through Avhich he rapidly 
ran his eye. 

' Your lives are spared ! ' cried he to Mac Donalbain 
with heartfelt joy. ' The mercy of the queen has 
commuted the death-sentence of you all into confine- 
ment to labor in the mines for life.' 

' Oh my God ! that is hard ! ' sighed Mac Donal- 

' That is heart-breaking mercy,' dryly observed the 
humorous brigand, ' which compels us, who were never 


fond of labor, again to begin to move our bones like 
patient asses day after day, until happily relieved by 
death. However, something is always better than 
nothing, and we are duly grateful.' 

Meanwhile Christine had fallen upon her knees in 
silent thanksgiving to God. She quickly arose how- 
ever, and quietly asked the judge, ' what is the de- 
cision with regard to myself! ' 

' As was foreseen,' he answered. * You are pro- 
nounced free from all guilt and punishment, and you 
are left at liberty to dissolve your marriage with the 

' What a good thing it is to have a royal counsellor 
for one's uncle !' cried Christine, with derisive scorn. 

' You can leave this place and go wherever you please 
without delay or hindrance. Yet you are expected at 
Gjdlensten, and your noble kinsman is present to 
accompany you there.' 

' That means, that I am to be separated from my 
husband by persuasion or force ! ' said Christine with 
intense anxiety, while a sudden resolution seemed all 
at once to re-animate her soul. * You then are my 
master, Arwed,' she at length said to him. ' Against 
that I have no complaint to make. You will not be 
an unkind one, and therefore I confidently expect from 
you a compliance with my request. Allow me to 
accompany my husband to his place of destination.' 

' Your father expects you to-day,' said Arw^ed im- 
patiently ; * and I must not comply with your request.' 

* Eear Arwed,' said she, hanging affectionately upon 


him, ' let me at least take a final leave of the wretched 
man before he parts forever from the blessed light of 
day. Then will I follow you to Gyllensten, or .where 
else you please, patiently, as a lamb follows its mother. 
Do not this time say no. It is the last request I shall 
ever make of you.' 

* So all-powerful is the magic of this singular being,' 
said Arwed to the judge, ' that she compels me to 
consent to what I ought to refuse. Yours is a sad 
case, Christine ; you might have prepared an earthly 
heaven for some worthy man, through your love.' 

* That she might ! ' cried Mac Donalbain, agonized 
with sorrow and repentance, ' that she might, had 
she not thrown away her love upon me. She is a 
cheerful sun which has lavished its rays upon a desert 
waste, full of monsters, instead of ripening wholesome 
fruits for the nourishment of men.' 

' You say yes ? I can prepare for the journey, can 
I not ? ' once more asked Christine, and kissing his 
hand as he nodded assent, she flew to make her prep- 


The wagons of the prisoners, together with Arwed's 
carriage containing Christine and her child, were 
approaching the end of their journey. On one side of 
them the smehing furnace of Oesterhy was rolling its 
clouds of smoke high into the winter sky ; before them 
towered the bald, dark-gray iron mountains of Dane- 
mora-Gruben, and already the few buildings which 
animate this desolate and uncomfortable region had 
become visible. A dragoon, who had been sent for- 
ward to announce their approach to the superintendent 
of the mines, now returned and led them to the nearest 
shaft, where a number of the miners had already 
assembled to receive the new comers and expedite 
them to their destined location under ground. 

While the young miners were taking their stations 
at the windlass, and others were removing the robbers 
from the wagons, Christine drew ArAved aside. 

' Arwed,' said the broken-hearted woman, ' you have 
always conducted yourself towards me in the noblest 
manner. Give me one more proof of your generosity 
and kindness, and thus crown your work. Allow me 


to descend into the mine with Mac Donalbain. My 
anxiety for him will be less painful when I am made 
acquainted with his new residence.' 

' What an insensate request I ' cried Mac Donalbain, 
who had overheard it. * It will be much better that 
we take our last farewell here above ground.' 

* Because I have once yielded to your importunities,' 
replied Arwed, ' you hold me for a weak simpleton, 
and think you can move and turn me at your pleasure. 
I have fulfilled your last request, and now I must obey 
your father's commands. Take your last leave of 
Mac Donalbain, and then return with me according to 
your solemn promise.' 

' Hold me not so closely to my word,' entreated 
Christine. ' What would I not have promised for the 
happiness of beholding my husband some days longer ! 
Let me descend with him,' 

' You must now take your leave,' said Arwed 
sternly, ' and then immediately return with me to 
Gyllensten. My resolution is unchangeable.' 

Christine looked wildly about her. The robbers 
were all in the tub ready to descend, and waited only 
for Mac Donalbain, who now embraced his wife with 
frantic sorrow. ' Farewell, and forgive me ! ' he cried, 
and hurried to the shaft. 

' If thou hast ever loved,' shrieked Christine, cling- 
ing to Arwed's knees, * suffer yourself this time, only 
this time, to be softened. Let me follow my husband. 
For this shall a wife leave father and mother. Hold 
God's word in honor, and permit an unhappy woman 


to descend into the bosom of the earth, from which 
she sprung.' 

* I must do my duty ; you remain behind ! ' decided 
Arwed. Meantime the windlass had commenced its 
revolutions, and the prisoners had disappeared in the 
dark and yawning gulf. 

* He is gone ! ' moaned Christine. ' Thou hast done 
thy duty, barbarian ; now will I do mine ! ' ^ 

She took the suckling from her breast, and placed 
it in Arwed's arms. 'Be its father!' she cried, 
springing to the shaft. 

' Back ! the tubs have already descended I ' shrieked 
a miner, whilst Arwed hastened after her to hold her 

' In God's name ! ' she exclaimed, and, grasping with 
both hands the tub-rope which hung suspended in the 
abyss, and boldly swinging herself over the shaft, she 
descended with frightful rapidity, and in a moment 
was lost to view. 

' Holy God ! ' cried Arwed in amazement, staring 
with stupefaction into the horrible deep. 

' She will never reach the bottom alive,' cried one 
of the miners at the windlass : ' God have mercy on 
her soul I ' 

Arwed had handed over the child to one of the 
miners' wives, and availed himself of the first tub 
which again came up, to descend into the pit for the 
purpose of looking after the unhappy mother, and 
doing every thing in his power for her welfare. The 
brave youth felt a slight shudder, when, by the celerity 


of his movement, the black, rocky walls around him, 
as if raised by some magic power, appeared to fly up 
into the air so swiftly as soon to shut out the light of 
day from the entrance, which appeared like a distant 
star shining down upon him ; and, as his eyes grad- 
ually became accustomed to the obscurity, the terrors 
of the subterranean world became more and more 
distinctly and fearfully perceptible. Nothing was to 
be seen around him but dark gray rocks in gigantic 
masses, and occasionally caves and depths so immeas- 
urable that they appeared to open into endless space. 
In singular contrast with the death-like appearance of 
all nature in these immense regions, appeared the 
active and busy movements of living men, who cheer- 
fully labored to rend by force from old mother earth, 
that which she has so carefully hidden, and so perti- 
naciously withholds, from the curiosity and avarice of 
her children. There, upon an isolated group of pro- 
jecting rocks, were the begrimmed miners, with their 
mining lamps, appearing in the far distance like 
so many fire-flies, assiduously digging with mallets 
and drills into the iron walls, for the purpose of 
gaining, in the least dangerous, though most tedious 
manner, the useful metal, which others then removed 
in troughs, baskets and handbarrows, and finally con- 
veyed to the regions of day. Here, large fires were 
burning under the overhanging rocks, for the purpose 
of softening the hard stone by their heat, until they 
could be detached by their iron crow-bars. Upon 
slender rafters, supported by inserting their ends into 


the fissures of the rocks over unfathomable abysses, 
solitary individuals were composedly boring holes in 
the rocks for the purpose of blasting them ; and near 
and far to a great distance, the darkness was illumina- 
ted by explosions which re-echoed through the natural 
arches of the pit like a subterranean battery of cannon, 

'A true earthly hell!' said Arwed, while going 
down, ' furnished with all the terrors and torments 
which mortals can suffer without quickly succumbing. 
How can Christine prefer servitude in this eternal 
night to freedom in the blessed light of day ? But 
indeed love will endure all things.' 

The tub landed at the bottom of the shaft. Arwed 
stepped from it, and immediately perceived, by the 
light of a torch, the poor Christine lying exhausted 
upon the ground in a recess in one side of the pit. 
Mac Donalbain was standing by her in silent despair, 
and the clergyman of the mines was bandaging the 
bleeding hands of the suffering woman, from which 
the cord had torn the flesh as it slipped through them. 

' So thou hast come after me, Arwed I ' cried she, 
with a glance of heavenly kindness, and extending 
towards him her already bandaged right hand. ' You 
have always acted toward me with the best feelings 
and intentions.' 

' My God, what desperation ! ' said Arwed. * This 
descent might have cost j'-ou your life. At all events 
you have accomplished your wish. So give to Mac 
Donalbain your farewell kiss, and let us again return 
to vour child and to your father.' 


' Not SO, Arwed ! ' answered Christine with deter- 
mined resolution. ' My child is confided to good 
hands. My presence can afford neither joy nor com- 
fort to my father. I remain with my husband. You 
have reason to know what will be my alternative if 
compulsion is used. You would not constrain me to 
self-murder. Therefore take my last farewell, and 
with it my thanks for your truly fraternal love.' 

' It is now your duty to interfere, Mac Donalbain,' 
cried Arwed, earnestly. • Without Christine I dare not 
appear before her father. The intelligence that she 
has persisted in remaining here would cause the old 
man's death, and he has not deserved that from you. 
Therefore dissolve the magic spell you have cast 
around her, and give back the daughter to her father.' 

' My crimes have forever loosed the bands which 
bound us,' said Mac Donalbain, with almost suffocating 
sorrow, to his wife. * Therefore leave me now, 
Christine. It would only increase my misery to know 
that it was shared by you.' 

' I do not believe it, Mac Donalbain,' answered the 
resolute woman. * That the society, the sympathy, 
the consolations, of a being who stands in so near a 
relation that henceforth she will only live and breathe 
for you, must lighten your sufferings, I am fully con- 
vinced ; and in despite of your generous untruth I 
remain your companion.' 

' Well, then,' cried Mac Donalbain, wildly, * if you 
will at all events remain the wife of a condemned 

criminal, you must respect the husband's authority. 



The wife owes obedience to the husband, and I com- 
mand you to return to your father ! ' 

' You cannot command me to do that,' answered 
Christine. ' I am your wedded wife. I have never 
given you cause to be dissatisfied with me, but have 
always faithfully adhered to you, up to this sad mo- 
ment. You have no right to separate yourself from 
me without my consent, and by Almighty God I will 
never give it ! ' 

' Be merciful, as our Father in Heaven is merciful ! ' 
said the preacher to the weeping Arwed. ' So far as 
I understand this sad history, it appears, even to me, 
better to permit the unhappy woman to remain with 
her husband. What but severe reproof and bitter 
scorn can she now expect in the upper world ? Here, 
on the contrary, she can perhaps preserve a distracted 
mind from despair and lead it to true repentance and 
amendment, which is always a commendable work 
and acceptable to God.' 

' How can I venture,' rejoined Arwed, ' to leave the 
poor woman here, helpless, amid the horrors of nature 
and the outcasts of societ}', whose destiny her husband 
must share ? ' 

' She shall reside in my house,' promised the 
preacher ; ' and together Avith my good wife I will 
make every possible effort to render her yoke easy 
and her burden light. Confide her to me, sir officer, 
and I will have a father's care of her.' 

' Do so, reverend sir,' said Arwed, somewhat relieved 
by this promise, and placing a purse in the preacher's 


hand. * The governor of West Bothnia will gratefully 
acknowledge whatever kindness you may show to his 

The preacher raised his hands in astonishment on 
thus learning the high rank of the person committed 
to his care. ' I will plead for you with your father ! ' 
said Arwed to Christine, — and, to shorten the painful 
scene, he hastened to re-enter the tub. The signal 
was given, and Arwed soon mounted to the regions of 
day, accompanied by the grateful prayers of those he 
left behind. 


Arwed sat by his uncle's sick bed, and, not with- 
out some embarrassment and hesitation, gave an 
account of Christine's artifice, his weakness, and her 
final resolution. The old man exhibited no sign of 
anger, as Arwed had anticipated, but on the contrary 
nodded his assent to the arrangement. ' She knows 
what is proper for her,' he at length said in a trem- 
bling voice. ' Her honor is lost beyond redemption, 
and I therefore consider it but reasonable and proper 
that she should hide herself in a place so little differ- 
ent from the grave. Direct my steward to send a 
hundred ducats to Oesterby yearly, for her use, that 
she may not suffer from want, and henceforth name 
her to me no more. With her child you will do what 
you think proper ; you have an open treasury here, — 
but never let it come into my presence. I cannot 
acknowledge a child of Mac Donalbain as my grand- 

' Is Megret still here ? ' asked Arwed, for the pur- 
pose of changing the subject. 

* He is,' answered the governor, * and I wish to 


have some conversation with you respecting him. A 
great change has come over him since the Ravensten 
expedition, and he has daily become more and more 
seriously misanthropic. Since he clearly ascertained 

that the person was determined at all events to 

accompany her husband to Danemora, it seems as if an 
evil spirit had entered him, and obtained entire pos- 
session of his heart. I really believe the fool did not, 
until then, give up all hope of gaining her hand. His 
presence here has become disagreeable to me. He 
daily harasses his poor hounds, who howl about the 
castle like damned spirits, — shamefully over-rides his 
noble horses from mere caprice, and I have frequently 
caught him in smiling and pleased contemplation of 
his bloody spurs. His groom leads a miserable life 
with him, and I have on that account already once or 
twice upbraided him severely for his eccentric and 
irregular course. His plan of purchasing and settling 
himself in this vicinity seems to be wholly given up, 
and he has become burdensome to every living crea- 
ture at the castle, but most of all to himself. I feel 
that my days are numbered, and would willingly die 
in peace. I must therefore beg of you, Arwed, in my 
name and in a courteous manner, to dismiss him from 
the castle. Should he take it ill, a duel may indeed 
be the consequence ; but you would not hesitate to 
exchange a few passes for the love of your old uncle, 
— would you ? ' 

' I will set about it immediately,' said Arwed, leav- 
ing the room, rejoiced to have an opportunity of 
forever ridding himself of the hated Frenchman. 


I^• answer to his inquiries for Megrer, Arwed 
learned that he had retired into the garden in compa- 
ny with a strange officer. He followed him there, 
and their voices guided him through the leafless and 
snow covered walks to a thick grove of yew-trees, in 
which Megret and the stranger were sitting. A 
glance through an opening in the branches of the 
trees discovered to him the face of Siquier, pale and 
wasted by disease and affliction ; and the interest of 
a conversation which now commenced between them, 
chained him with irresistible power to the spot. 

' AVhat is it that you particularly want of me?' 
asked Megret, with mingled embarrassment and 
vexation. ' We have both of us so long and so care- 
fully avoided each other, that this unexpected visit 
may well excite my wonder.' 

' I am about to leave Sweden forever,' answered 
Siquier, in a desponding tone, ^ and have come to 
take my leave of you, and to procure money for my 
traveling expenses.' 

' Money for traveling ? ' murmured Megret. ' We 
settled with each other Ions: since, and balanced our 


accounts. Above all, how came you to form the res- 
olution of leaving Sweden ? ' 

' You know,' answered Siquier, in a low voice and 
looking carefully about him, ' with what ignominy 
common report has branded my honor since the king's 
death. I still hoped that those suspicions would 
gradually die away, but they continued daily to 
strengthen and increase, and I learned that my ene- 
mies with witty insolence pronounced my once honor- 
able name, Sicaire,^ thus, by a slight change of 
sound expressing the accusation with that atrocious 
word. Two duels followed, and still the rumor 
continued to spread. Had I fought half the army, it 
would have been unavailing. Finally my mental 
sufferings overpowered my physical strength. A 
raging fever seized me, and . . . ' He ceased. 

' And then ? ' asked Megret, with painful anxiety. 

* In the paroxysms,' stammered Siquier, almost 
inaudibly, * I am said to have accused myself of 
Charles's murder, and to have thrown up my windows 
and begged Sweden's pardon for the crime.' 

' What consequence could they attach to such silly 
phantasies ? ' asked Megret, turning deadly pale. 

' The government,' continued Siquier, ' had me 
confined in a mad-house, and when I recovered I 
received my dismission, with an injunction to leave 
the kingdom.' 

' Are 3^ou also, like myself, dismissed ? ' cried 

* A French v7ord, signifying assassin. 


Megret, with a ferocious laugh. ' They are right ! 
The lemons have been squeezed, why should they 
not sweep out the useless peels ? ' 

* It is dreadful to have no means of escaping the 
gnawing worm in the heart,' said Siquier, ' but, 
between ourselves, Megret, have we deserved any- 
thing better ? ' 

While saying this he seized Megret's hand and 
gave him a piercing glance. The latter angrily tore 
himself from his grasp. 

' You know our former agreement,' said he mood- 
ily, ' never to allude to bye-gone occurrences, even in 
our most secret conversations.' 

* You are right,' said Siquier, with a look and tone 
of, horror. * The past is, for us, a black night, full of 
blood and flames ! Let us wait until it re-appear in 
eternal futurity ! ' 

* Here is money,' said Megret, placing a heavy 
purse of gold in his hand. ' Go and prosper.' 

' It contains more than thirty pieces of silver,' said 
Siquier, weighing the purse in a sort of mental 
abstraction. ' There is more than enough to purchase 
a potter's field for a wanderer's grave ! ' 

' The fever has weakened you, poor Siquier ! ' 
exclaimed Megret, with forced laughter. ' You have 
grown learned in the scriptures, and will no doubt 
become one of the professing brothers of La Trappe, 
in your old age. Do hasten to get there.' 

' Mock me not, seducer ! ' said Siquier, grating his 
teeth and grasping the hilt of his sword. After a few 


moments he observed, ' you are right I I believe in a 
hereafter, — I believe in future rewards and punish- 
ments, and may I therefore live to repent and reform. 
You entertain a different belief, and you have only to 
shoot yourself when your conscience awakens from 
its death-sleep ! ' 

* That may become advisable !' said Megret, in a 
low tone, and both remained sitting near each other, 
their arms resting on their knees, and their faces 
buried in their hands. They remained silent, each 
absorbed in his own reflections, while the thickly 
falling flakes of snow gradually wrapped them in 
white mantles, without attracting notice. 

At length a heavy sigh escaped from Siquier's 
laboring breast. He rose up, threw the purse of gold 
before Megret's feet, and suddenly left the garden, 
without bidding him farewell. Megret, uttering no 
word, remained sitting in the same posture, and 
Arwed was detained motionless for some time, by the 
feelings which this singular and dreadful disclosure 
awakened, and by a want of decision, which of the 
two first to call to account for their hidden deed of 
horror. He finally concluded : ' why should I contend 
with the miserable man, whom the judgment of God 
has already stricken, whose marrow has been already 
consumed by sickness and remorse, who has neither 
strength nor courage to oppose me, and who, perhaps, 
would welcome death from my hand ? No, the inso- 
lent transgressor, in all the pride and bloom of life, 
shall be the object of my wrath — the seducer I as hi^ 


accomplice called him. I will punish not the knife^ 
but the hand I'' — and he quickly approached the 
entrance to the grove, which Megret was that mo- 
ment leaving. 

The latter shrunk before the indignant glance of the 
youth. The flush of anger and the paleness of terror 
alternately played upon his countenance, and it was 
dreadful to see the two manly forms confronting each 
other with looks of enmity and defiance. 

The fearful silence was interrupted by Arwed. ' I 
have overheard your conversation with Siquier, 
colonel,' said he, ' and, as you know how strong was 
the love I bore the king, you will not be surprised 
when I declare to you that we must fight ! ' 

' You have an especial passion for pistol-shooting ! ' 
calmly and jestingly replied Megret. ' Probably 
you wish to revive the custom of the ancient 
pagans, with whom the companions in arms of a hero 
prince reciprocally slaughtered each other on his 
grave, as an evidence of their love and respect for 

' Name your time and place ! ' cried Arwed, whose 
anger was increased by his insolent witticisms. 

* Eight days from this, about the same hour,' 
answered Megret, after some little reflection, ' in the 
first iron mine of Danemora.' 

' That is a late and distant rendezvous,' said 
Arwed. ' You will not let me wait for you there in 


The Frenchman's eyes flashed, and in his anger he 


resembled an evil spirit in the human form. ' Young 
man !' he cried, ' doubt every thing — doubt even of 
Megret's eternal salvation — but doubt not his word 
or his courage, — or you will compel him to annihilate 
you even against his will.' And with a proud step 
he left the garden. 


Some days later, Arwed, prepared for his journey, 
approached the sick bed of his uncle to take leave 
of him. 

* You are going once more to Danemora ? ' asked 
the old man. ' What occasion calls you there ? ' 

' I wish to see how it goes with the poor Christine,' 
answered Arwed, unwilling to disturb the sick man 
by naming the true motive. 

' You are deceiving me,' said the old man re- 
provingly. * Your business is of a more unpleasant 
nature. You have executed the charge I gave you. 
Megret has left us, and your journey relates to him. 
Danemora is only a pretext to keep me in ignorance.' 

' Truly no,' answered Arwed. ' Megret has ap- 
pointed it for our place of meeting.' 

' Is it so I ' cried the old man. * I am sorry for it, 
and have a thousand times repented of the charge I 
gave you. It would be a dreadful thing if you 
should fall in this miserable combat. You can and 
must yet become right useful to your father-land. 
Promise me at least that you will pursue this affair 
no further than honor absolutely demands.' 


' Forgive me, dear uncle,' said Arwed. 'I cannot 
give you that promise. But one of us will leave the 
field alive. Yet quiet yourself with the assurance 
that it was not your request, with which indeed 
there was no necessity for my compliance, which 
occasions this duel ; it has a more weighty cause. 

' What can that be ? ' doubtingly replied the uncle. 

' Excuse my naming it to you,' answered Arwed. 
' I fight not for our house, nor for my own honor. I 
fight for Sweden ! ' 

' Go then, bold combatant, and may God fight with 
you ! ' cried the old man, ' It is possible you may 
not find me alive when you return. For which 
reason receive now my thanks for your filial love 
and truth. That I consider myself your father in the 
full sense of the word, my testament, which I have 
already deposited with the high court at Stockholm, 
will inform you. I have also written to your father 
and to the queen. You must become my successor 
in the government of West Bothnia.' 

' Never ! ' cried Arwed, impetuously. 

' You must ! ' persisted his uncle. ' Not for love 
of the queen, nor for your own advantage ; but for 
the welfare of this province. I may be permitted to 
say that with me the office has been in good hands, 
and I am unwilling that an unworthy courtier or 
unfeeling soldier should demolish what has cost me 
so many long years to build up. You are intelligent, 
brave and good ; and you have, with me, become 
familiar with the civil duties. You are the most 


suitable person, and you must be governor ; where 
the happiness of the people is concerned, anger, 
vindictiveness, and similar trifling hindrances, must 
not dare to raise their heads in such a heart as yours.' 

' My dear uncle ! ' said the yielding Arwed, and 
kneeling down before the bed, he kissed the invalid's 
wasted hand. 

' God bless thee, my son I' said the latter, laying 
his hand upon the youth's head. 

' And also the poor Christine I is it not so ? ' asked 

Tell her — I — do not curse her ! ' cried the old 
man with a severe struggle ; ' and now leave me. 
These feelings are too strong for my exhausted 

He turned his face to the wall, and Arwed de- 
parted in sadness. 


At the appointed hour Arwed entered the shaft of 
the first mine in Danemora, with his pistols under 
his arm. In consequence of the perfect mental repose 
with which he proceeded upon his bloody business, he 
had this time a better opportunity to look about him 
and observe the peculiarities of the monstrous cav- 
ity. A strange feeling seized him when he took 
a nearer view of the active operations of this sub- 
terranean world. The miserable huts and wooden 
booths here and there erected among the rocks ; the 
larger hut with a small belfry which denoted the church 
of the immense abyss ; the market, which the venders 
of the indispensable necessaries of life, attracted by 
all-powerful avarice, held here below ; the ceaseless 
prosecution of the mining operations — gave to the 
whole scene the appearance of an abortive attempt to 
create a subterranean city ; while the black dresses 
and earth colored faces of the perpetual residents of 
these melancholy regions were well calculated to 
strengthen the illusion. The whole was lighted only 
by pans of pitch which fumed and smoked here and 


there in their elevated niches. No glimmer of day- 
light penetrated there. The firmament of these abodes 
was the roof of the mines, which, indeed, had no sun, 
but had its fixed and wandering stars in the fires, torches 
and lamps of the workmen — and, in the frequent 
explosions which took place, their thunder and light- 
ning, like the upper world. Arwed bent his course 
directly to the little edifice which served for the church, 
and upon reaching it discovered in its rear a small 
building, which rather more than the others deserved 
the name of a house. It was the dwelling of the cler- 
gyman. Upon entering he discovered Christine, whom 
sorrow and confinement had rendered still more pale 
and emaciated, busily plying her needle by lamp light. 

'Ah, Arwed!' cried she overjoyed, and springing 
towards him she held out her bandaged hand as before. 
A dark cloud soon flitted over her beautiful counte- 
nance, and she asked distrustfully, ' have you no 
secret object in this visit ? ' 

* A very secret and serious one,' answered Arwed — 
' from which, however, you have nothing to fear. 
On the contrary, I bring you your father's permis- 
sion to remain here, the consolation that your child is 
well attended to, and the assurance of a pecuniary 
allowance sufficient to preserve you from want.' 

' And I have to thank you, still you, for all these 
blessings ! ' cried Christine with grateful enthusiasm. 
* Ah, how happy you make me, and at the same time 
how inexpressibly unhappy ! ' 

' Poor Christine I ' said he with deep sympathy — 


* How miserable has the vehemence of thy nature 
rendered thee ! ' 

He laid his pistols upon the table, and listened to 
ascertain if any one was approaching. 

' You said just now,' remarked Christine sorrow- 
fully, ' that a secret and serious purpose brought you 
here. I hope those weapons which you have brought 
with you into this peaceful hut, have no connection 
with it ? ' 

Arwed walked silently to the window and looked 
impatiently out into the eternal night. 

' Do you apprehend any further malice from my 
husband ? ' Christine anxiously asked. * I will be 
answerable for him with my life. He reveres you as 
our guardian angel. Moreover he has become much 
better in this abode of darkness than he was in the 
upper world ; and should I with the aid of time be 
enabled to banish the deep sorrow which still con- 
stantly hovers about him, I have reason to hope that 
we may once more attain to something like happi- 

Arwed, who had scarcely listened to the poor suffer- 
er, now suddenly asked, * has not Megret been 
recently here ? ' 

' Do you then seek him ? ' cried Christine with 
astonishment. * Yes, he was here scarcely an hour 
since. He caused Mac Donalbain to be called from 
his labor, and retired far into the mine in private 
and earnest conversation with him. I had already 
become somewhat alarmed on account of their lono: 


absence. Megret is a fiend, and bears the most bitter 
hatred towards my husband.' 

At this moment Arwed heard voices from Avithout. 
He raised the window, and to his astonishment saw 
Megret arm in arm with Mac Donalbain and in earnest 
conversation with an old clerk of the mine. 

' I repeat it my friend,' said Megret, * your way of 
exploding is bad. Greater results may be produced 
with half the labor and powder, when one begins 

' I have all proper respect for your mathematical 
sciences, sir officer,' the clerk peevishly answered; 
' but still I think that we, who are in constant practice 
here, must better understand how to obtain the ore 
than you can by theoretical calculations.' 

' Must not the engineer be also familiar with the 
practice 1 ' asked Megret. ' Our mines traverse every 
variety of earth, and we are often under the necessity 
of calculating the resistance of walls and masses of 

The clerk, who adhered as pertinaciously to old 
customs as the ore to its native mountains, shook his 
head in token of disbelief. 

' You want proof,' said Megret, with some apparent 
irritation. * Show me a suitable place and let me 
spring a mine in my way. I will pay for the labor 
and powder if I do not make my words good.' 

' Vivat I ' cried the clerk, confident of victory ; at 
that moment Arwed stepped directly in front of Megret, 
with his pistols in his hand and bowed in silence. 


' I rejoice to find you here,' said Megret with great 
equanimity, courteously returning his greeting. ' Al- 
low me but to settle a contest between the old 
practice and the new science, and I shall immediately 
afterwards have the pleasure to be at your service.' 

During these few moments Mac Donalbain had 
hastened into the house, and now returning in a state 
of great excitement, seized Megret by the arm and 
drew him away. 

The clerk followed them, talking to himself and 
gesticulating with great animation, and they all soon 
disappeared in the dark windings of the mine. 

Christine now came out, casting her troubled glances 
in every direction. As soon as she perceived Arwed 
she hastened to him. ' Mac Donalbain was with me 
just now,' said she anxiously. ' He pressed me 
silently to his bosom, and then rushed forth as if frantic ! 
Where is he ? where is Megret ? ' 

* Megret is essaying a new method of springing 
mines,' answered Arwed, ' and will soon be here 

' And Mac Donalbain has accompanied him ! ' cried 
the trembling wife. ' I fear some mischief is on foot 

' Causeless apprehension ! ' said Arwed ; ' the clerk 
is with them. Megret's undertaking will require the 
presence of several workmen, and his honor as an 
officer is pledged for his speedy return,' 

* What have you to do with that bad man ? ' asked 
the still suspicious Christine — but the approach of 


two men prevented a reply. They were Swedenborg 
and the superintendent of the mines. The latter 
separated from Swedenborg with a respectful inclina- 
tion, and passed on in obedience to the calls of duty 
to some other portion of the mine. Swedenborg 
however advanced towards Arwed. 

' I greet you, vigorous swimmer upon the sea of 
misfortune,' said Swedenborg to Arwed, offering his 
hand in a most friendly manner. 

'Welcome to your kingdom, sir mining-counsellor I ' 
answered Arwed. ' What news do you bring from 
the upper world into this abyss ? ' 

' I bring news of a diet which will take Ulrika's 
crown and place it upon her husband's head,' said 
Swedenborg ; ' of an armistice with Denmark, and 
peace with Poland and Prussia.' 

' And Russia ? ' asked Arwed hastily. 

' Remains implacable, and is making new pre- 
parations,' answered Swedenborg, shrugging his 

' These false steps are a great misfortune to my 
father-land I ' cried ArAved despondingly. ' Peace 
with powerful Russia should have been the first 

Swedenborg had meantime kept his eyes immov- 
ably fixed upon the youth, and now appeared to 
have subjected the lineaments of his face to a suf- 
ficient trial. He became so gloomy, and the glances 
of his black eyes so piercing, that Arwed could hardly 
support it. 


' How came you by this love of peace ? ' he finally 
asked the youth in a reproachful tone, ' when your 
heart is destitute of it, and you have descended into 
this mine with bloody intentions ? ' 

* If your spiritual eyes are sharp enough to read 
my heart,' answered Arwed, with surprise, ' you must 
know and honor the motives which actuate me.' 

' Every motive is blameworthy,' answered Sweden- 
borg, with an elevated voice, ' which induces an 
earthworm to endeavor to anticipate the dispensations 
of Providence. Yet will His mercy spare you this 
sin ; for behold, the arm of the fearful Nemesis is 
already raised, and at the Lord's command it will 
fall in destruction upon the criminal.' 

Christine had drawn close to Arwed during this 
conversation, and he now perceived the feverish 
trembling of her frame, caused by Swedenborg's 

At this moment a young miner came and asked, 
' where shall I find major Gyllenstierna.' 

' Here he stands ! ' answered Arwed, * probably you 
wish to bring me to the ofiicer who was just now 

' No, he merely sends you this billet,' said the 
young man, departing. 

* What can he have to write to me about, situated 
as we are ? ' Arwed peevishly exclaimed. Unfolding 
the billet, which was written in pencil, and stepping 
to the nearest pitch-pan, he read as follows : 



' To appease the manes of jom king, you have 
demanded satisfaction of me. I had however pre- 
viously promised it to myself, and to myself therefore, 
precedence is due. From you I have only to expect 
a possible death. I shall inflict it upon myself with 
a surer hand. Mac Donalbain shares my fate. In 
gratitude to the countess Gyllenstierna for the manner 
in which she rejected my addresses, I have persuaded 
her husband that he belongs to this earth as little as 
myself. Many will think the manner of my death 
strange ; but I wish to die in the way of my profes- 
sion, and at the same time to preserve my body from 
the ignominy of a judicial investigation. I have the 
honor to greet yoa. Au revoir, I dare not say. 


The horror-stricken Arwed had hardly read to the 
end, when suddenly the whole broad space swam 
in a sea of fire. A terrible explosion, as of a powder 
magazine, of which echo increased the frightful roar 
a thousand fold, shook the ground under Arwed's 
feet, and displaced heavy masses of stone from the 
sides of the cavern which fell with a crash to the 
bottom of the mine. Loud screams suddenly arose 
on all sides, to which a mournful silence immediately 
succeeded, and from the direction in which Megret 
and Mac Donalbain had gone, came rolling in a 
dense white-gray powder-smoke, which twirled in 
waving clouds along the top of the arch, and soon 


filling the whole mine, wrapped every object in its 
impenetrable veil. 

' What was that ? ' stammered Christine, clinging 
to Arwed for support. 

'God's judgment!' solemnly and majestically 
answered Swedenborg. ' Wo to the sinner who 
wickedly and presumptuously draws it down upon 
his head before the appointed time.' 

* Let us go and see if it be possible to render any 
assistance,' proposed Arwed ; and proceeded with 
Swedenborg toward the place whence the smoke 
issued. Christine followed them with a misgiving 
heart. They were met by the old clerk, who ran up 
to them with a black and disfigured face. 

' You appear to have been near the scene of the 
accident,' said Arwed to him. ' Are there many 
people injured ?' 

* Thank God only two ; who, moreover, are no 
great loss ! ' answered the clerk, turning again to 
show them the way. ' An officer, wishing to instruct 
us how to blow out the ore, so managed that instead 
of the ore he blew himself into the air, and a piece 
of the roof of the mine with him.' 

' The explosion was too violent for a mere removal 
of ore,' remarked Swedenborg. 

* Very true, most honored sir,' answered the clerk. 
* There also went with it a small cask of powder 
which was standing near.' 

By this time they had arrived at the place. The 
thick smoke almost suffocated them. The torches 


of the miners, hurrying to and fro, like nebulous stars, 
faintly lighted the scene of destruction. A monstrous 
mountain mass, consisting mostly of rocks and stones, 
had become loosened by the force of the shock, and 
covered the bottom to a great height with fragments, 
through the fissures of which little flames were seen 

' They will lie quietly in this cofRn until the last 
day ! ' observed the clerk. 

' In God's name I ' shrieked Christine, ' who is the 
other sufferer ? ' 

' The brigand leader, who was sentenced here for 
life,' answered the clerk, with indifTerence. 

* Mac Donalbain ! ' murmured the poor wife, sink- 
inof lifeless to the earth. 


Christine lay at the parsonage in that last hard 
struggle which releases the soul from its earthly 
imprisonment. At her bed-side sat Arwed, with 
humid eyes, his hands in the cold grasp of hers. 
Near her pillow stood Swedenborg, with his piercing 
prophet-glance fixed immovably upon the sufferer. 

* The symptoms of death are already observable,' 
whispered he to the weeping curate, * Her end is 

* She has suffered so much,' said Arwed, ' that if 
her heart were iron it must break under these hard 
and repeated blows.' 

At this moment Christine suddenly rose in her bed, 
turned her beauteous eyes with heavenly tenderness 
upon Arwed, and eagerly pressed his hand to her 

' At the brink of the grave,' said she, ' all false 
appearances must vanish. So near the source of 
eternal truth, I may now speak the truth to you. I 
have loved you, Arwed, loved you with all the powers 
of my passionate soul, from the moment when you 
stood before me in the knight's hall in the full per- 


fection of youth and manliness. But this love was 
my misery, for I was already secretly married. The 
caprices Avith which I often tormented you, alas, they 
came from a bleeding heart ! At Eavensten did 
Mac Donalbain's infamous profession first become 
fully clear to me, and I made every possible effort to 
withdraw him from it. But the chains of vice hold 
strong ! Only by slow and gentle degrees could my 
husband disengage himself from his associates ; and, 
before he had time to accomplish the work, his 
punishment overtook him. What I have done for 
him was but the performance of a wife's duty. His 
self-murder is my divorce for this world and the next, 
and now my only consolation is, that I shall be able 
to extend to you a free hand when we hereafter meet 
in eternal light.' 

As she proceeded, her voice had increased in 
clearness and fulness of tone, her eye became bright 
and flashing, and purple roses burned upon her 
wasted cheeks. 

' You have spoken too fast and too earnestly, 
countess,' said the curate. ' In your present situation 
this excitement may cause your death.' 

' I have it already in my heart, reverend sir,' said 
the invalid in a low voice ; ' and I know but too 
well that it is too late to preserve life. Yet I thank 
you for this care, as well as for the religious conso- 
lation you have afforded me in this last heavy trial.' 

She held out her hand to him, which the weeping 
man pressed to his lips, and the deep silence which 


followed, was only broken by the sobs of those 

' I have now but one wish in this world,' resumed 
Christine. ' Alas, but one, the fulfilment of which 
would soften the pangs of death ; but I dare not 

' Thy son is mine ! ' cried Arwed. * By God and 
my own honor, I will adopt him and he shall bear 
the name and arms of Gyllenstierna.' 

' I know,' answered Christine, ' that you will do 
whatever is great and good, and I have ceased to be 
anxious about the fate of my child since I confided it 
to you. But my poor old father — ' and here her 
voice faltered, — ' that I may not once more kneel 
before him and implore his pardon, that, that alone 
embitters my death.' 

' Poor woman ! ' cried Arwed, who witnessed the 
extent of her sorrow with the perfectconviction that 
no consolation could be offered. 

' Hope, sinner ! ' cried Swedenborg with emotion, 
laying his hand upon Christine's head. ' True re- 
pentance may do much ; a weeping, penitent child, it 
presses strongly against the gates of heaven;, and 
behold ! the ruby gates fly open, and the eternal 
mercy, sitting upon a throne woven of rays of light, 
takes the weeping child softly to her bosom and dries 
her tears with maternal love ! ' 

He stepped apart, folded his hands, and silently 
and fervently raised his eyes on high. Christine 
also folded her hands and moved her lips in a mur- 
mured prayer. 


' Thou art heard ! ' suddenly exclaimed Sweden- 
borg ; and at the same instant Christine sprang up, 
and with outspread arms joyfully cried, ' my father !' 

A white ray floated through the room, and the 
strings of the piano reverberated like the dying 
harmony of an Eolian harp. 

' He has pardoned me, he has preceded me, he 
expects me there ! ' cried Christine in ecstasy, and 
immediately sank back upon her pillow. 

Swedenborg approached her, and as his glance 
fell upon her fixed eyes, he exclaimed with emotion : 
' she is dead ! ' 

And the clock struck the third hour of the morning. 


The black funereal flag was waTing from the 
towers of Gyllensten as Arwed slowly approached it 
with the remains of poor Christine. The tolling* of 
bells was heard from the castle chapel and from 
Umea, and the domestics of the family surrounded 
the carriage with weeping eyes, 

' How is my uncle ? ' asked Arwed, with fearful 

* I bring you his last greeting,' said the gray old 
steward, with a trembling voice. * He went to his 
God early on the day before yesterday, about the 
third hour. His last word was, ' Christine ! ' ' 


Long years had passed, and Gustavus the thu'd sat 
firmly upon Sweden's throne, as at Lubec a noble 
dame, upon whose pure beauty thne had left no traces, 
sat upon a sofa in her cabmet. She had leaned 
her thoughtful head upon her full white arm, while 
the strong heaving of her bosom and the mild fire of 
her large brown eyes betrayed the sad and absorbing 
nature of the reminiscences which occupied her mind. 
The door was softly opened, and a blooming maiden 
cautiously protruded her head into the room and was 
about to withdraw it again. 

' Come in, Georgina ! ' cried the dame. ' I am not 
yet asleep. Have you any thing to say to me ! ' 

* A young officer wishes to speak with you, mamma,' 
answ^ered the beautiful maiden, entering. 

' An officer ? — of the city militia ? ' asked the 
mother with some surprise. 

' No mamma,' answered the maiden, laughing. * He 
appears altogether different from them. He wears 
a short blue jacket with straws-colored facings turned 
up, a white band upon his arm, the sword belt over 


the shoulder, and a round hat looped up, with a black 

* It is a Swede ? ' cried the mother with great 
vehemence. * His name ? ' 

* He will only tell it to yourself,' answered Georgi- 
na ; ' which I consider particularly ill-bred.' 

' It is very wonderful,' said the mother : — ' ask him 
to come in.' 

Georgina went, and soon returned, ushering in a 
well formed j^outh with the head of an Apollo, who 
reverently bowed to the dame, and immediately re- 
sumed his erect military position. 

He would have spoken ; but his eyes had wandered 
from the elder form to the younger, and the lovely 
maiden's face and figure embarrassed him so much 
that it cost him time and effort to collect himself. 

' My father begs to assure your grace of his high 
respect,' he finally faltered out, ^ and requests permis- 
sion to place in your own hands an autograph from his 
majesty the king of Sweden.' 

' Who is your father ? ' asked the lady with a 
trembling voice, whilst her e3"es seemed to be seeking 
for remembered features in the unknown face. 

' A noble Swede,' answered the youth. 

' And his name ? ' asked the lady, with a movement 
as if she would fly to him. 

' He has the honor to be an old acquaintance of 
your grace,' continued the officer. 

' And his name ? ' cried she, with a fire which 
seemed inconsistent with her years. 


' The governor of West Bothnia, count Gyllenstier- 
na,' Avas the answer. 

The lady turned pale and sank back upon the sofa. 
Her bosom labored powerfully, and the anxious 
daughter hastened, to her with Cologne water. 

* Leave me,' said she, averting her head. ' My 
nerves are yet strong. I faint not so easily.' 

With tottering steps she advanced towards the 
youth and examined his features yet more intently 
than before, 

* A certain family likeness,' said she, ' is undoubted- 
ly to be found in his face ; yet I wonder that it does 
not appear more distinctly.' 

* I am only the adopted son of the count Gyllen- 
stierna, whose name I bear,' answered the youth. 
' The count has always remained unmarried.' 

The lady sighed and motioned him to retire. 

' When may my father wait upon your grace ? ' 
courteously asked the youth. 

' In an hour I hope to have sufficiently recovered,' 
answered she — and, with a glance at the charming 
daughter which called a blush into her cheek, he took 
his leave. 

' Mamma,' said she at length, in a tone of timid 
remonstrance, * if the Swedish count is your old 
acquaintance, you ought to have invited the young 
count to come with him. He is at any rate his foster 
son, and such a modest yoimg man.' 

' You appear to be pleased w^ith him, Georgina ? ' 
said the mother, looking earnestly at her daughter. 


The latter dropped her eyes to the floor, blushed 
deeply, and remained silent. 

' It is our duty to suffer ourselves to be sought,' said 
the matron to the maiden. * It is proper for the other 
sex to seek. If the young man's heart speak as 
prematurely as yours, he will come, even without an 

' You are wholly right, mamma ! ' cried the daugh- 
ter, as if now first struck by an important truth, 
passionately kissing her hand. 

' Leave me alone, my child,' said the mother. * I 
have need of solitude to prepare myself for a sweet, 
sad hour. Seat yourself meantime, at your piano, 
and practise the bass of that beautiful sonata for four 

' Now ? ' cried Georgina, clasping her hands in 
despair. ' Ah, mamma ! I positively cannot practise 

' It may perhaps cost you some effort,' said the 
mother, smiling, ' but it will do you good. Go to 
your practice, my daughter.' 

Georgina departed, shrugging her shoulders, and 
the storm of emotion, so long restrained, once again 
floated over the face of the mother, who had hitherto 
struggled with all her power, to conceal her feelings 
from the eyes of observers. ' God give me strength 
for the sorrow and the joy of this interview ." cried 
she, sinking upon the sofa. 


The hour had struck. The daughter opened the 
door of the cabinet, and, accompanied by his adopted 
son, Arwed count Gyllenstierna entered. Neither 
years nor sufferings had been able to bow his tall 
figure. The lineaments of his face, however, told 
of sad mental struggles and glorious victories. His 
locks of gold were bleached to silver, and upon his 
newly made black national uniform shone the magni- 
ficent seraphim-order, and with the sword and crown 
of the order of military merit, the peaceful sheaf of 
the order of Vasa. He remained standing, and cust 
upon the beloved of his youth, from his large blue 
and still brilliant eyes, a glance which cut her to the 
soul. ' Lady baroness von Eyben ! ' said, he, in a 
tone in which 'love and anger, reproach and rapture, 
were strangely mingled. 

It was too much for the heart of the matron. ' Not 
so, Arwed, not so ! ' cried she, beseechingly, and 
attempted to approach him ; but, her heart impelling 
her forward while profound respect held her back, 
she remained irresolutely standing in the centre of 
the room. 


' Please to permit, baroness,' said Arwed, ' that 
my son and your daughter retire to the ante-chamber. 
My communication requires no witnesses.' 

The young pair seemed to be well pleased with 
the proposition. The baroness looked doubtingly at 
Arwed, as if she feared a private interview ; but 
finally her heart conquered. She nodded permission 
to Georgina, and the two disappeared with a celerity 
that astonished the mother. 

The former youthful lovers were alone. Georgina 
motioned Arwed to a seat upon the sofa, placed 
herself beside him, and both remained a long time 
silent, whilst the past was loudly speaking in their 

' Georgina ! ' at length Arwed exclaimed, seizing 
her hand. 

' Be tranquil, dear Arwed I ' said she. ' If the 
strong man cannot control his feelings, how can a 
feeble woman command hers ? Let us first speak 
of the present. Have you not a letter for me from 
the king ? ' 

' Cruel ! ' sighed Arwed, drawing forth a letter and 
solemnly rising from his seat. ' You have petitioned 
his majesty for the restoration of your father's con- 
fiscated property in the German provinces. I bring 
you the king's answer.' 

' The person selected as its bearer is a guaranty 
of a merciful decision,' said Georgina, also rising. 
With trembling hands she took the letter, unfolded 
and attempted to read it, — but her vision became 


indistinct, her hands shook, and at length amid 
streaming tears she cried, ' I cannot ! Read the 
letter for me, dear Arwed.' 
He read : 

* I esteem the memory of the renowned and unfor- 
tunate baron von Goertz too much to receive without 
emotion the intelligence that there is yet remaining 
one of those children who were made orphans by 
the tyranny and shocking injustice of the queen 
Ulrika Eleonore and of the persons who presided in 
her courts and councils. His innocent blood has 
remained too long unavenged. Sweden, through 
long, unhappy, desolating, distracting years, has paid 
the tribute demanded by the anger of heaven for the 
crime committed against a great and unfortunate 
man. I therefore wish, as fitst citizen of my native 
land, in the name of that native land, to hasten the 
reparation of the injustice of my predecessors. To 
this title, which I look upon as one of the fairest 
granted to me by Providence, I add that of my 
family, for whom Goertz w^as made an offering. 
You may easily judge, madam, how very much I 
am disposed to grant you that justice which you 
claim as daughter and heiress of the deceased baron 
von Goertz.' 

Georgina, almost frantic with joy, snatched the 
letter from Arwed's hand, and pressed it to her lips 
and heart, ' Lord God, we praise thee, — Lord God, 


we thank thee ! ' she shouted in her exultation, sink- 
ing upon her knee, and raising the paper tOAvards 
heaven in her clasped hands. 

* It is truly a royal letter,' said the deeply moved 
Arwed ; ' but such a letter from him would surprise 
no one who knew him.' 

' Oh, my father ! ' cried Georgina, holding the 
writing up towards heaven, ' learn in thy place of 
bliss that thy honor is restored before the world, and 
that thy happy daughter has been instrumental in 
its accomplishment ! ' 

* You see, my dear Georgina,' said Arwed, ' that 
Sweden is not unjust. The public character of a 
people can only appear through its government. 
That justice which the cruel Ulrika, the weak Fred- 
erick, the chained Adolphus Frederick, derided or 
denied, the worthy Gustavus, now that his hands are 
free, grants in the fullest measure.' 

'Much,' said Georgina, endeavoring by the intro- 
duction of new topics of conversation to allay the 
violence of her emotions, ' much was said in Germany 
of the revolution which delivered the crown from the 
usurped supremacy of the royal council, and I, at 
least, have cause to bless the Nemesis who guided it.' 

' That occurrence,' remarked Arwed, ' stands like 
a rare and brilliant meteor in the horizon of Europe. 
A national revolution, originating with the king him- 
self, accomplished in a few days, without bloodshed, 
and calculated to promote the welfare of the whole 


country, is perhaps unparalleled in the history of the 
world ! ' 

Both remained a long time silent. At length 
Arwed inquired, * how is your sister, the good little 
Magdalena ? ' 

' She died many years since, in Hamburgh, the 
wife of the privy counsellor von Laffert,' answ^ered 

* And you — are a widow ? ' he asked in a low tone. 
' Since four years,' she ans^vered with downcast 


' It is the penalty of age,' cried he, sorrowfully, 
' that, one by one, all whom we have loved go before 
us to the eternal world. Life's way becomes every 
day more dreary and desolate, and wo to the unhappy 
being to whom remains not even one companion of 
the good old times. His is a solitary death, with 
none to drop a tear of regret upon his grave.' 

* Very true ! ' said Georgina with deep feeling, and 
wiping the tears from her eyes. 

' Georgina ! ' cried Arwed, suddenly and with ve- 
hemence ; ' in my youth I was never able to subdue 
or conceal the emotions of my heart. Age has not 
changed me in that respect. That I might see you 
once again, and have an opportunity to lay before you 
my last request, I have obtained the king's permission 
to be the bearer of this letter. Hear me with kind- 

' Spare me,' said she, greatly agitated. 


' Your father's honor is restored to all its original 
brightness,' continued Arwed, without heeding her 
remark. ' My father has long slept in his grave. 
The causes no longer exist which once forbade my 
earthly happiness. I have sacredly kept my truth. 
You are again free. Do not now refuse me your hand.' 

' Oh, my God ! ' cried the terrified Georgina. ' No, 
it is not possible ! ' 

' Eefuse me not your hand, Georgina ! ' said Arwed 
with all his former tenderness of tone. 

* Dear Arwed,' answered she, with a smile, ' what 
would our children say ? Theirs is the season of 

' How happy is youth ! ' exclaimed Arwed, sighing. 

' Honorable age has also its pleasures and enjoy- 
ments,' said Georgina, placing her hand in his. 

' When it wanders arm in arm with the chosen 
companion of its youth,' answered Arwed with 
emotion. ' But when it is compelled to creep alone 
to a solitary grave, then are honors and riches a 
miserable compensation for a life without an object.' 

* Arwed ! ' exclaimed Georgina in the sweet tone 
of former times. 

' Wilt thou be mine ? ' cried Arwed, passionately. 

' Thine, eternally ! ' murmured she, while a faint 
blush threw the glow of undying youth over her 
cheeks, and she sank sobbing upon his bosom.